The U.S. unemployment rate is so low that some cities and states have turned into "worker deserts" — places where companies can't find people to hire, Axios markets reporter Courtenay Brown reports.
- Why it matters: The "good news" story of the strong labor market has a big downside that is playing out in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida. Companies say they won't be able to keep up with business demand — hampering growth — unless they find more workers.
Across the country, more than 1 million more jobs are available than there are people to fill them.
- The number of small businesses that said finding qualified workers was their single most important problem hit a 46-year high last month, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
- Vermeer, an industrial equipment manufacturer in Iowa, has asked assembly-line employees to volunteer to work Saturdays to keep up with customer demand. But Vermeer board chair Mary Andringa says a weekend shift isn't "as agreeable to team members as it was 30 to 40 years ago."
In New Hampshire, unemployment is close to a 30-year low:
- "There are 20,000 jobs waiting to be filled, with no one to fill them," said David Juvet of New Hampshire's Business and Industry Association.
In Florida, companies are "bringing back retirees ... increasing the use of interns and apprenticeships," wrote Mark Vitner, a Wells Fargo economist.
- He also noted how heavily the state relies on immigration to refuel its working-age population.
What's next: In some states critical to the 2020 election, business leaders are pushing for more immigration to create bigger labor pools.
- Mini-scoop: On Wednesday, the Iowa Business Council — a coalition of Iowa's biggest companies — will release pro-immigration recommendations, taking a position on the issue for the first time.