You've likely seen signs on doors of restaurants and other businesses in Montana telling people that the business is short-staffed. It's been that way for a while, I started seeing them around the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's hard to have employees if you aren't operating at normal capacity, so it makes sense. But, some businesses are still struggling to hire new employees in Montana. So much so, that Montana ranks in the top ten worst states for hiring in the nation.

Montana's Job Opening Rate is About 8%

According to research from, Montana ranks 6th worst in the United States in hiring troubles. In the last year, our job opening rate, which is the percentage of jobs that became vacant and open in the state, was 8.14%; in the last month, it has improved a little bit, coming down to 7.3%.

The improvement actually isn't enough to bring Montana out of the top ten. With the improvement, only 9 states have a worse job opening rate in the last month than the Treasure State. It seems like we're improving, but we still have a long way to go before we match the state with the best rates, Washington.

Why Are Businesses Struggling This Hard?

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry believes that the expansion of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason why our job opening rate is so high; they reported our workforce had 10,000 fewer jobs in 2021 than in 2020. That's a massive drop in employees statewide.

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If you are looking for a job in Montana, now would be the best time to find something considering a large number of vacant positions in Montana businesses. Most of them could really use your help if you can provide it.

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