CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A new study has ranked West Virginia high on the list of states where employers are struggling to hire.

According to WalletHub, the national labor force participation is starting to get closer to pre-pandemic levels. It reached 62.8% in September 2023, which is just 0.5% below where it was at the end of 2019. Data shows unemployment rates across the country are also lower than they were at the height of the pandemic.

So far this year, the rate for the seasonally adjusted civilian unemployment rate has stayed between 3.4% and 3.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rate reached its highest point in the past decade in April 2020 at 14.7%. The last time it was at or above 4% was January 2022.

To conduct the study, researchers compared the rate of job openings for the latest month and the last 12 months in each state to find the data.

The study found that West Virginia came in second for employers struggling to hire employees. The state’s job opening rate in the last month was 7.1%, and 7.71% in the last 12 months.

Only Alaska ranks hire on the list than the Mountain State. The Last Frontier’s job opening rate in the last month was 10.6%, and 8.13% in the last 12 months.

Rounding out the top 10, from third to 10th place are South Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Colorado and North Carolina.

The study found the state where employers are struggling the least to hire employees is New York. The state has a job opening rate in the last month of 4.8%, and 4.6% in the last 12 months.

Rounding out the top five of states where employers aren’t struggling quite as much to hire are New Jersey, Washington D.C., Washington, and Indiana.