LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – An April study by Wallethub has ranked the best and worst places for employers looking to hire.

The study compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings versus job openings in the last 12 months.

Recent job openings ranged from 9.40% to 5.40% in their most recent look and 8.48% to 5.03% in the last 12 months before the study.

Kentucky didn’t see great changes going from 7.20% openings to 7.55%. This landed the bluegrass state in the eighth spot. West Virginia was Kentucky’s only neighbor who did worse coming in at the fifth spot.

April did see some positive changes for the commonwealth. According to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, unemployment in March was down 0.2% points from February with 8,351 people gaining employment.

Source: WalletHub

Indiana (35), Illinois (33), Ohio (31), Missouri (27), Virginia (20), and Tennessee (13) are all having an easier time replacing or rehiring employees lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

District of Columbia, Kansas, Connecticut, Delaware, and Arkansas were all having the easiest time hiring employees.

WalletHub asked 15 professionals and/or professors about their findings which can be viewed here.

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Teresa A. Sullivan, a professor at the University of Virginia, said the main factors troubling the labor market are wages, perks, or employees just seeing the work as unpleasant.

“Real wages have risen somewhat, and some employers have begun to compete with new perks and benefits. In some cases, there are organized poaching from other companies. In addition, some jobs, especially those that are public-facing, are perceived to be so hazardous or unpleasant that workers are no longer willing to stay, even at higher wages. Fear of contracting COVID, abuse from customers, frustration over unavailable inventory, and other supply-chain issues have all made retail, hospitality, and some health care jobs much less attractive.”

Teresa A. Sullivan, President Emerita and University Professor – University of Virginia

Hee Man Park, an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University, said employers will need to rethink their talent pools and who they recruit.

“Despite the difficulties that employers experience in attracting and retaining employees, this could be also an opportunity for employers to rethink hiring unconventional talents. Those talents include working moms who must work at home all the time, workers with disabilities, racial minorities, and people from lower social classes, who have not been successful due to stereotypes despite their strength. The needs of these talents may be slightly different from those of conventional talents. Rather than simply a base salary, they care more about inclusive organizational culture, supervisors’ fair treatment, transparent communication, fair pay practices, flexible work schedule, and remote work options. These are a part of valuable non-monetary compensations, which many organizations often neglect or fail to communicate with job applicants. Particularly small and medium-size companies, which cannot compete with large companies in terms of base salaries, need to actively communicate the existence of unique non-monetary compensations to attract unconventional talents.”

Hee Man Park, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, School of Labor and Employment Relations, The Pennsylvania State University