- Analysis looks at the uneven condition of the labor market in the United States
- While overall job openings exceed the number of unemployed people, 34 states have more unemployed people than available jobs
- Job openings are concentrated in fields that tend to have lower median wages
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
More than half of the states in the nation have more unemployed people than job openings, according to a recent analysis from the career content company CareerCloud. While many employers have been complaining about an inability to find job candidates, CareerCloud says the labor situation varies widely from state to state and that the bulk of job openings are concentrated in lower-paying sectors.
As of Sept. 8, there were 8.3 million people unemployed in the United States but 10.9 million job openings available. Factors such as ongoing fears about COVID-19, child care responsibilities, and skills gaps have been key factors preventing people from entering the labor force, with employers taking steps such as bolstering wages and benefits to attract workers.
CareerCloud found that 34 states had fewer job openings than their number of unemployed residents. Connecticut had the fifth worst ratio, with 0.51 openings per unemployed person.
- The labor shortage was most pronounced in Washington, D.C., with 2.37 openings per unemployed person, and least pronounced in Hawaii, with 0.41 jobs per unemployed person
- Sectors with largest number of job openings in June 2021 included trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality
- Only professional and business services offered a median wage above the national median of $56,000
- Financial activities, construction, information, and mining and logging all offered wages above median, but these sectors also had the fewest job openings
- CareerCloud offered tips on how businesses facing a labor shortage can stay competitive, including offering pay above market rate, long-term incentives (especially remote or hybrid work opportunities), commuting incentives for jobs necessitating on-site work, and greater flexibility for parental leave