Study: Kentucky ranks 4th in nation for employers struggling to hire

Kentucky businesses still struggle to find workers
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 10:39 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While COVID-19 forced businesses to lay off employees, and the demand for jobs was higher than the supply, the tables have turned as businesses struggle to find people to even apply for jobs.

A study from WalletHub shows Kentucky is near the top of the list when it comes to employers struggling to hire.

The report released Wednesday ranks Kentucky fourth in the nation. Coming behind Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana.

Experts from the study say the labor imbalance continues to worsen. During the height of lockdowns, there were 490 job seekers per 100 job openings. It’s now down to 50 for every 100 openings.

“I would love to be open six days a week, said Jim Sawyer, who just reopened Sawyer’s downtown. “I would love to be open. I need probably 24 to 26 employees and I currently have functioning...seven.”

Sawyer’s closed from economic impacts caused by the pandemic. Now that the restaurant is back, they are facing new challenges. They are only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Ideally, they would like to be open through the dinner rush. Sawyer worries what this trend could mean for local businesses, saying some have already gone under from it.

“We’ve already seen it. There’s already multiple excellent restaurants that were in this city that are gone. There’s some that just have deep enough pockets that they can carry on.”