Why states like Maine, Utah and the Dakotas are hit the hardest



  • The labor shortage is spread across three regions, ZipRecruiter told the Wall Street Journal.
  • Closures, tourism and the number of “pandemic refugees” could explain why.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Labor markets in some states are recovering much faster than others – and local lockdowns, the size of their tourism industries and the number of people who moved there during the pandemic could be the reason, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

As a result, employers in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and New Hampshire are particularly struggling to attract new hires amid the labor shortage, which the US Chamber of Commerce described on the week. last of “national economic emergency”.

The tightest job markets are spread across three regions, job search site ZipRecruiter told the Journal.

Read more: McDonald’s franchisees blame hiring problems on unemployment benefits, say ‘inflation time bomb’ will force them to raise Big Mac prices

Northern Mountain West, which includes Montana, Idaho and Utah, has about 2.9 job openings per unemployed job seeker, ZipRecruiter said, using data from April. That number rises to 3.6 in the plains, which include the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, and in northern New England, made up of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

This is corroborated by House data, which found South Dakota, Nebraska and Vermont to be the most affected states.

They had fewer lockdowns

The Plains States reopened faster and did not enforce such stringent measures during their lockdown.

Iowa, for example, lifted its mask mandate in early February, while North Dakota allowed it to expire on January 18.

The faster reopens meant that fewer people lost their jobs during the pandemic, and those who did were able to return to their old jobs faster, Oren Klachkin, chief US economist at the research firm, told the Journal. world Oxford Economics.

Their main industries were not as affected by the pandemic

The Plains have high levels of employment in the agriculture and food processing industries, the Journal reported. As essential industries, these were able to stay open during the pandemic – so fewer people lost their jobs.

And northern Mountain West, the Plains, and northern New England are much less dependent on tourism than states like Hawaii and New York. The tourism industry has been devastated by the pandemic, forcing some retail and hospitality workers to look to other industries and reducing the amount of money spent on local goods and services.

New businesses opened during the pandemic

“Mountain states have become pandemic refugee states,” Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter, told the Journal. This is partly because they had fewer foreclosures – but also because of their affordable housing and the abundance of open space, according to the publication.

And as new residents moved to the United States, they increased the volume of economic activity – and, in turn, the demand for labor.

Low wages and COVID-19 concerns could be the root of nationwide labor shortage

In addition to these local factors, the national labor shortage is likely due to a mix of unemployment benefits, COVID-19 health issues, family responsibilities and low wages, reported Ayelet Sheffey. from Insider.

The United States Chamber of Commerce said the labor shortage was hampering the country’s economic recovery after the pandemic, while the

Federal Reserve
said the labor shortage can last for months and is already causing price hikes.



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