Staffing Struggles: The States and Industries Most Impacted in 2022

Check out our list of the states and industries which are struggling the most with staffing shortages — plus tips on how to overcome them.

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Here's what you need to know:

  • As of April 2022, there are currently upwards of 11.54 million unfilled vacancies in the U.S.
  • New Hampshire and Massachusetts both top the list of states with the most jobs currently available per 100,000 residents
  • The education and health services sectors have the most open roles

After 2 years of disruption and uncertainty, business leaders most likely hoped for a period of normality, and a chance for their organizations to recover. However, although shops, restaurants, and malls are all open again, new issues have arisen — creating more headaches for business owners across America. The largest of these hurdles is undoubtedly the ongoing staff shortage crisis.

The struggle is real

there are currently upwards of 11.54 million unfilled vacancies in the United States, the highest point since 2018, and the highest number in the last two decades.

Statistics for April 2022 indicate that there are currently upwards of 11.54 million unfilled vacancies in the United States, the highest point since 2018, and the highest number in the last two decades.

To take a closer look at the problem — and to help struggling business owners — we have created a list of the states and industries which are suffering the most, with some tips to overcome the shortages.

To create the list, we reviewed the number of Indeed job openings per 100,000 people in each state, and cross referenced this information with both Statista and a number of different studies released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Our research revealed that New Hampshire and Massachusetts both top the list of states with the most jobs currently available per 100,000 residents, followed by Vermont and North Dakota.

We also looked at industries struggling to fill roles amid the global talent crisis, and found that the education and health services sectors have the most open roles.

Statistics published in February by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that unemployment rates were lower in 388 of the 389 metropolitan areas in the United States. A total of 75 areas had jobless rates lower than 3%, while 3 areas had unemployment rates of at least 10%.

States with the highest number of open roles

The 20 states with the highest number of open roles per 100,000 residents, are:

  1. New Hampshire: 3,310
  2. Massachusetts: 3,310
  3. Vermont: 3,200
  4. North Dakota: 2,980
  5. Delaware: 2,920
  6. Minnesota: 2,890
  7. Wisconsin: 2,800
  8. Colorado: 2,800
  9. Arizona: 2,790
  10. Virginia: 2,730
  11. Maine: 2,700
  12. Iowa: 2,700
  13. North Carolina: 2,670
  14. Ohio: 2,670
  15. Missouri: 2,610
  16. Nebraska: 2,590
  17. Pennsylvania: 2,560
  18. Indiana: 2,560
  19. Kansas: 2,550
  20. Illinois: 2,500

Industries with the highest number of job openings in the U.S.

The 11 industries with the highest number of job openings in the United States are:

  1. Education and health services: 2,129,000
  2. Professional and business services: 2,065,000
  3. Trade, transport and utilities: 1,834,000
  4. Leisure and hospitality: 1,676,000
  5. Government: 1,029,000
  6. Manufacturing: 855,000
  7. Financial Activities: 538,000
  8. Other Services: 498,000
  9. Construction: 380,000
  10. Information: 234,000
  11. Mining & Logging: 25,000

Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also revealed that Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire had seen the biggest increases in job vacancies from January 2021 to January 2022. Each state had seen increases of; 124.8%, 110.3% and 103.1%, respectively.

Further data released by the BLS revealed that healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to add the most roles in 2022, around 1.7 million.

The numbers also revealed that only one group of occupations is projected to decline: farming, fishing, and forestry. Offering less than one million jobs 10 years ago, this group is the smallest of the occupational groups and is projected to shrink 3.4%, a decline of 32,200 job openings.

To help employers attract the talent most suited to them, we’ve also compiled a few of our top tips. These are curated by experts across the Zenefits and Workest brand.

Promote workplace perks and benefits

In today’s recruitment climate, attracting talent is one of the hardest parts of running a successful business, particularly when attempting to grow. Offering workplace benefits such as flexible hours, remote working, and additional days off for birthdays can be a great way to distinguish your business from the competition.

Highlight your culture

Although candidates take many factors into consideration when choosing which job offer to accept, one cannot understate the importance of organizational culture. Most people want to earn a competitive wage — while working in a job that makes them happy. Showing them what your company is all about, and how you treat your employees, is a great way to help them make the best decision.

Show candidates where your business could take them

Progression is something any ambitious worker is thinking about when they accept a job. So, if you find the right candidate for your needs and you feel you can’t afford to lose them, showing them how far they could go within your business can make a big difference. Highlighting members of the team who began their careers in junior positions, and are now in more senior roles, will give candidates first-hand insight into the opportunities you can offer them.

Nadene Evans of Zenefits, said:

“In totally opposite fashion to what we saw during the height of the pandemic, the last 6 months or so have created a new struggle for employers trying  to fill positions created by the post-COVID boom. Companies in almost every sector are in a constant employment battle, trying to fill positions as quit rates continue to rise and the number of unfilled positions follows suit.”

“Companies in almost every sector are in a constant employment battle, trying to fill positions as quit rates continue to rise and the number of unfilled positions follows suit.”

She added: “We wanted to shine a light on which areas and industries are struggling the most. We were surprised to see education and health at the top of the list; however, looking at it in more depth it becomes clearer why. Our hope is that the understaffing issue is resolved soon, and that businesses, and workers, can return to a sense of equilibrium as soon as possible.”

Methodology

Using publicly available data from job listings website Indeed, we tracked the total number of job openings in every U.S. state. We then compared these numbers to the population in each state to create a ranking based on the number of job openings per 100,000 residents.

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