November 21, 2022

Worker Shortages Affects Every U.S. State

In both the United States and Canada, there are millions of open jobs without people to fill them. Employees left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, which, in the United States at least, has resulted in a national labor force participation rate that still lags about one percentage point below pre-pandemic levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) has examined how this labor gap is affecting U.S. states. It found that only four states — Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, and South Dakota — have a higher percentage of their labor force working than before the pandemic.

Still, like businesses in all other states, firms there are still having trouble finding workers.

The USCC’s Worker Shortage Index ratio indicates the number of available workers for every job opening. States with a higher ratio have more workers available to fill open jobs. For example, a ratio of 0.39 means a state has just 39 workers for every 100 open jobs. A ratio above 1.0 indicates a surplus of available workers compared to job openings.

How does your state stack up? Check out the USCC’s tool here.

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