Alaska tops list of states with hiring woes

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(The Center Square) – Alaska employers have a more difficult time than all other states in hiring workers, according to a report released on Wednesday by WalletHub.

The personal finance website based its findings on the number of job openings in the latest month and ones from the past 12 months.

Alaska’s job opening rate last month was 10.6% last month and 8.13% for the past 12 months, according to the report.

The findings mirror a report released earlier this month by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development showing the state’s struggles to fill jobs.

Alaska Economic Trends shows the job with the highest turnover was fast food cooks, with a turnover rate of 84%. The turnover rate for drywall and ceiling tile installers is 82%.

Wages are not always behind high turnover rates, according to the report. Fast food workers in Alaska earn an average of $15.75 an hour, and drywall installers make an average of $31.04 hourly.

Highway maintenance workers, who have the fourth highest turnover rate at 67%, earn a salary of $27.04 an hour.

Alaska also has a difficult time retaining dentists. The turnover rate for the profession is 28%, unusually high for a job with an average hourly wage of $83.77, according to the report.

But pay can be an important factor in recruiting and retaining workers, according to WalletHub expert Michael Oswalt, a Wayne State University Law School professor.

“When pay goes up, so does the number of applicants. When pay goes up, workers are more likely to seriously consider the position. When pay goes up, jobs are more stable,” Oswalt said.

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