With the labor force participation rate at 62.4%, one of the lowest rates in decades, a new study sheds light on 2022’s States Where Employers Are Struggling the Most in Hiring.

To see where employers are struggling the most in hiring, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings for the latest month and the last 12 months, according to a news release. For example:

California Hiring Struggle Stats

  • Job openings rate during the latest month: 6.60%
  • Job openings rate in the past 12 months: 6.10%
  • Overall rank: 14th smallest hiring struggle in the country

What the Experts Say

Why do employers have difficulties in filling employment positions? 

“The new age job applicants are more aware of what skill sets they can offer and can parse what their prospective employers’ value offerings are – due to the information-rich/social media networked world they live in. And employers will find it very challenging to attract a new workforce if they cannot craft or effectively communicate a ‘unique job value proposition’ – combined with competitive wages and incentives, growth opportunities, autonomy, flexible work arrangements, benefits, etc. Moreover, the record number of job vacancies has created a ‘hot’ job market, and the employers are still reeling from the effects of pandemic headwinds such as vaccine mandates, early retirees, etc,” said Anushri Rawat, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, associate professor, Eastern Michigan University.

“The pandemic has created a work-life balanced lifestyle that was not as prevalent before Covid. When working remotely became ubiquitous, people began to realize that they could be with their family and friends during the day if they finished their work. They could take breaks and see their children and other loved ones,” added Daniel E. Goldberg, Ed.D., assistant professor; Academic Director of the Business Management BBA Program, Temple University.

What are the main factors that are influencing the high turnover rates in the labor market?

“Covid-19 and its aftermath have raised the importance of many factors affecting employees’ decisions regarding their careers…First, many folks have reappraised their sense of meaning at work, that if we are going to spend so much of our precious time – and sacrifice that time that could be spent with family, pursuing hobbies, or otherwise exploring non-work-related goals – then that time and energy spent at work had better be worth it. Employees are also realizing more than ever that their relationships with their employers matter, as does how they feel they are treated at work … Higher-level executives across many industries continue to suffer from burnout as their obligations continue to escalate amidst industry or economic instability, as hiring continues to be difficult, and as work from home turns into always working,” said Dana Sumpter, associate professor; program chair, MS Management, and Leadership, Pepperdine University.

“The ‘great resignation‘ still seems to be a prominent feature of the current U.S. labor market, facilitating chain reactions of turnover and hiring … Although the US economy is recovering from the pandemic situation, many workers still feel insecure about their employment and search for jobs to regain control over their working schedule and reduce uncertainties. For example, women, still under pressure of increased home/child-care responsibilities, may look for employers who can accommodate the needs for remote or flex work. In addition, workers leave organizations as the pandemic has given workers the opportunities to reevaluate their employers and rethink what they want in their careers as many have experienced disruptive changes in work settings and the loss of family members,” said Hee Man Park, Ph.D., assistant professor, The Pennsylvania State University.

How can employers attract and retain employees during this troubling period?

“There is not a ‘one size fits all solution for attracting and retaining employees – especially during periods characterized by high turbulence. The key is for employers to truly listen to their employees and understand the needs of their job candidates. Despite the highly idiosyncratic nature of factors that would make an employee stay and a candidate attracted to an organization, there are a few things that I believe are critical nowadays. First, employers must become more flexible. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that working from 9 to 5 in an office is not a prerequisite for the successful completion of tasks. Employees managed to be equally productive and, in some cases more productive while working from home (or from anywhere). Thus, employers need to offer some sort of location and time flexibility (even in the form of a hybrid work arrangement). Second, COVID-19 generated a lot of jobs and income insecurity. Even though some sort of pay-for-performance scheme can be very motivational, during this troubling period…employers need to reconsider the ratio of base salary and pay contingent to performance to reduce turnover of employees who are fleeing to other industries,” said Dorothea Roumpi, assistant professor, Pennsylvania State University.

“I believe higher wages, better benefits, and hybrid or virtual work environments along with work cultures that are open to innovation, suggestions, and empathy, along with excellent communication, will help employers retain employees.”
Goldberg added.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit here.

Source: WalletHub