Why It’s So Hard to Fill Jobs in Certain States


The labor-market recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns is playing out unevenly across the U.S., from states where there are five openings for every unemployed worker to several where historically high jobless rates persist.

In some regions, including less populated areas that imposed fewer Covid-19 restrictions—states such as Utah and the Dakotas—the labor market is red hot, with many employers struggling to fill open jobs. Elsewhere, including in urban areas and tourist hubs that have been slower to ease restrictions—such as New York and Hawaii—labor demand is rebounding more gradually, making the shortages of workers less acute.

Workers wanted

The northern Mountain West, the Plains, and northern New England stand out as having especially tight labor markets, with about three open positions for every one unemployed job seeker in April, according to an analysis by job search site ZipRecruiter.

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