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Unpacking the Numbers: Examining Unemployment and Job Availability by State

The United States’ labour market is experiencing a significant imbalance between job seekers and job openings. As of July 2023, there are approximately 75 workers available for every 100 job openings in the country. This statistic highlights the disparity in labour supply and demand and presents numerous opportunities in different states.

The map shows the number of unemployed workers per 100 job openings in each U.S. state.
The map shows the best and worst US States for job seekers.

A map compiled using data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demonstrates the variation in workforce availability across states. California and New York have the highest ratios of available workers to job openings, indicating intense competition for jobs.

States like New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington also have high ratios, reflecting a competitive labour market. On the other hand, states like Nevada and Texas have more favourable ratios, suggesting better prospects for job seekers.

Examining growth trends over the past three years, Georgia stands out with a surge in job openings and a low ratio of people per open role. However, the state’s unemployment rate has remained relatively stable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role in the current labour shortage. The pandemic led to the temporary closure of many businesses and resulted in widespread unemployment.

Government interventions and various subsidies caused shifts in work dynamics, with a notable portion of the workforce embracing retirement, transitioning to homemaker roles, or opting for part-time employment.

The pandemic led to closures and job losses, driving the current labor shortage.
The pandemic led to closures and job losses, driving the current labour shortage.

There is a correlation between industries with high unemployment rates and those experiencing substantial job creation. The leisure and hospitality sector and the wholesale and retail trade sector have high unemployment rates but have also added the most jobs.

The equilibrium between hiring and quit rates is crucial in the current job market. While the national quit rate is 3.8%, the hiring rate surpasses it at 4%. With nearly 10 million job openings in the U.S., there are abundant opportunities for job seekers.

Overall, the labour landscape in the United States is complex, influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and characterized by opportunities, challenges, and dynamic shifts. Understanding the interplay between available workers and job openings is essential for job seekers and employers navigating this evolving terrain.

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