Help Wanted: Too Many Jobs and Not Enough Workers in Most States
In 39 states, there are more jobs than people looking for them, according to employment data derived from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. North Carolina had the highest job openings rate, with 5.7% of all jobs unfilled. Missouri, North Dakota and Virginia followed close behind. The state is seeing “the most challenging hiring environment in recent memory,” according to Andrew Berger-Gross, senior economist at NC Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD). Half of North Carolina businesses reported having trouble hiring in a 2018 survey. That’s up from less than 40% in 2016. “North Carolina takes this situation very seriously,” said Berger-Gross, describing efforts by the NCWorks Commission to support apprenticeships and train existing workers. States are pursuing such “positive sum” policies designed to enhance productivity and train new workers drawn from disadvantaged groups like prisoners and high school dropouts.
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