LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas ranks in the top 10 of states where employers struggle to find workers.
A study by consumer finance site WalletHub released Wednesday ranked Little Rock as seventh among 50 states and the District of Columbia where employers are struggling the most in hiring.
Metrics for the study came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find the rate of job openings for the past month. A second metric used data for job openings over the past 12 months.
Arkansas, by the study’s measure, had a 7.3% job opening rate for the past month against a 6.91% rate for the past 12 months.
In comparison, New York had the lowest ranking on the list, with a 4.2% job opening rate for the last month against a 5.1% rate for 12 months. District of Columbia finished just above it at 50 with a 4.9% and 5.82% rate, respectively.
Alaska was first on the list where employers have the most difficulty finding employees. It had a 7.6% last-month rate and an 8.99% rate for 12 months. Georgia was right behind it in second with a 7.9% and 7.83% rate across the two categories.
University of Arkansas Professor of Human Resource and Workforce Development Claretha Hughes said the economic impact of hiring trouble can lead to inflationary impacts and higher prices.
“The economic impact of this trend will be long-term uncertainty,” she said. “With banks failing, high inflation, interest rate hikes, etc. organizations are holding on to their cash on their balance sheets…. Costs of technology and other goods will continue to increase because the demand will remain high as organizations struggle to adjust.”
Hughes also expects that hiring issues will be in place for a while.
“I think it will remain because you have baby boomers retiring every day and not enough new workers entering the labor market to replace them,” she said. “Technological replacements are not happening quickly enough either.”
Authors of the study acknowledged that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate, the number of people in the workforce as a percent of the population, remains below pre-pandemic levels.