Why Is It So Hard to Fill Jobs in Certain States? What You Need To Know

A man works on a McDonald’s restaurant sign with a job listing for a custodian paying up to $15 an hour in Bucksport, Maine, on Monday, August 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Why Is It So Hard to Fill Jobs in Certain States? While unemployment has been steadily declining since the recession, there are still parts of the country that have much higher than average unemployment rates.

This means that businesses in those states are having difficulty filling job openings, while people who are unemployed in those states have even more trouble finding jobs than they do in other areas of the country.

Why is it so hard to fill jobs in certain states? This post will explore what it’s like to find work in different areas of the country, why some parts of the country have higher unemployment rates than others, and what you can do if you’re struggling to find work in your area.

Why Is It So Hard to Fill Jobs in Certain States

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The Problem

Most Americans live in states with a healthy job market, but some are still struggling. These people may lack the skill-set and talent employers are looking for, or they may live in an area where fewer jobs exist than in others.

While there’s no quick fix for these persistent problems, Congress is working on legislation that might help. If passed, it would create tax incentives for employers to hire unemployed people who have been out of work six months or more.

In addition, it would offer training programs in certain industries so workers can learn skills needed for high-demand positions.

On the other hand, a similar program enacted by Congress back in 2011 has yet to deliver tangible results. Regardless of what happens with this latest proposal, one thing is clear: now more than ever we need all hands on deck to fill open jobs across America.

The Analysis; Why Is It So Hard to Fill Jobs in Certain States? 

US labor market data reports state unemployment rates between 3.2% and 4.9%. While this may seem like a relatively small range, employment prospects are significantly better for some states than others. What does this say about the difficulty of finding jobs in specific areas? The truth is, the problem is likely not with employers being unwilling to hire or being too picky when it comes to hiring employees rather, it is because there are simply not enough qualified applicants who live near the job openings.

As such, businesses are having trouble filling positions they have open. When it comes down to it, one of the biggest factors influencing unemployment rates might be something that’s out of our control: our location-based abilities.

Possible Solutions

New, innovative companies are constantly trying to open and grow their business. To do this, they need the right people for the job.

Currently there is a shortage of skilled workers, which is leading many promising businesses to have a difficult time opening or growing because they cannot find someone with the appropriate skillset. This worker shortage also leads to less competitive wages and better employee retention rates. 

One way states can incentivize people with necessary skillsets (typically engineering) who may be residing elsewhere at the moment is by recognizing degrees from other states that are on par with degrees granted by their own state university systems.

Plus, some states like Oregon offer grants of up to $6,000 per year for qualified individuals that want to start a new business within that state’s borders.


The statistics show that there are five states with the most unfilled jobs: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. With so many unfilled jobs it is a mystery as to why people are not filling them.

The unemployment rate for those states mentioned above ranges from 3.4% – 4.5%. While the majority of the country has an unemployment rate between 3-4%, these states have an unemployment rate within a percentage point of each other and this can explain why it is hard to fill positions in those areas because job seekers don’t have much room for negotiation or wages when competing with other workers living nearby.


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