🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

The labor market is still really tight in the Midwest and the South

Justin Ho Jun 22, 2023
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The labor market is still really tight in the Midwest and the South

Justin Ho Jun 22, 2023
Heard on:
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This week, the Labor Department released state-by-state data about job openings and labor turnover for the month of April. The data showed that the labor market is tight throughout the U.S. But there are some parts of the country where employers are having an especially hard time finding workers.

The labor market is tightest in the South, along with the Midwest and in New England.

“They have very high job openings compared to the number of unemployed persons,” said Meagan Schoenberger, senior economist at KPMG.

A big reason the labor market is so tight in the South, she said, is that a lot of people have been moving there.

Many of those people are starting up businesses, which creates demand for even more workers.

“That’s sort of robustified economies in geographic regions, and now they need a lot more labor, and it’s just not there yet,” Schoenberger said.

Meanwhile, the labor market is tight in the Midwest and the Northeast because unemployment rates there are falling.

Charlie Dougherty, senior economist at Wells Fargo, said that’s not necessarily because more people are finding jobs in those areas.

Instead, it’s because people are leaving.

“Folks are increasingly moving away in search of better job opportunity,” he said.

And, Dougherty said, they’re finding those opportunities in states like Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.