Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana employers are the third worst in the country in their struggle to hire and retain employees, according to a new study from the financial website WalletHub.

KGVO Reached out to analyst Jill Gonzalez for the details of the study.

Help Wanted Signs are Everywhere

“Montana right now is having trouble hiring people,” said Gonzalez. “It's having the third biggest struggle in terms of hiring and they’re only behind Alaska and Wyoming. We're really looking at two numbers, the job openings rate both in the last month and in the last 12 months. So just in the last month, the job openings rate is at around 8.3 percent, and it's more like 8.2 percent just for the last 12 months, and that's pretty high. Typically, we're seeing states around the four to five and a half percent level.”

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Employers in Missoula are well aware of the ‘here today-gone tomorrow’ labor market.

“There are not enough people really in the labor market right now looking for employment,” she said. “The jobs are there, but the job openings are really sticking around. Right now, workers are really looking for things like better wages, better benefits, or remote work, so if those things are not really an option in Montana, then workers are willing to wait it out until it is.”

The Whole World is Watching Workers Walk Away

Gonzalez said the worker shortage problem is now worldwide in scope.

“It's not necessarily just a Montana problem,” she said. “It really is the Great Resignation that all of America is seeing, with some states, more than others. “We're still seeing Americans quit their jobs at record rates, and it's not even just a U.S. phenomenon. About 20 percent of global workers plan to quit their jobs this year as well. So it is happening not only throughout Montana and throughout the country, but really throughout the world.”

They're Living off Plastic

Gonzalez provided her explanation of how so many people are surviving by not holding down a job.

“We're seeing significant charge-offs when it comes to credit card bills,” she said. “We're also seeing significant credit card debt. So it seems that people are living beyond their means and spending money they don't necessarily have right now, which I think will catch up with everyone in the near future. I think the recession will definitely have an impact on unemployment rates and on a lot of these job opening rates as well as people are forced to finally get back to work.”

Click here to see the complete report from WalletHub.

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