Millions of job openings lead to struggles for businesses to find workers

The Labor Department says there are more job openings than ever, meaning it should be easy to find work. In July, there were just under 6.2 million jobs open in the United States. Although it gives those who are looking for a job a bigger selection to choose from, it means owners and managers of businesses are having a hard time filling openings.

Cody Monson has been the head chef at Broadway Grill and Tavern since they opened almost three and a half years ago. Even back then, it was hard to find employees.

“I was kind of surprised at how few applications we got,” Monson said.

And not much has changed now.

“I put an ad on Facebook and BisMan within the last month and I think we probably got like one application,” Monson said.

According to the Labor Market Information Center, North Dakota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at just 2.2 percent. Nationwide, unemployment is just over four percent. There were over 13,000 online openings in the state in August, almost a thousand more than in July.

With so many places hiring, competition to hire workers can be fierce.

“Definitely tough with how much competition is out there,” Monson said. “And we have a very competitive wage I know.”

But Monson also says he knows it's tough, when there could be better opportunities out there.

“I think it's really tough to go with an hourly wage of a kitchen even if it's a strong wage,” he said.

This year's 6.17 million job openings are about four million more openings than there were back in 2009 during the Great Recession, according to the Labor Department.