FILE - Oklahoma State Capitol

The north entrance of the Oklahoma State Capitol building in the setting sun.

(The Center Square) – Oklahoma businesses are struggling to find workers to fill open jobs.

The state's unemployment rate of 3.2% – one of the lowest in the country – is back to pre-pandemic levels after soaring during the early months of COVID-19 restrictions. But the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce estimates that more than 60,000 jobs are available statewide.

At a meeting this week of the state Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee, lawmakers tried to figure out why.

“The mismatch between labor supply and labor demand continues to be in place, and those differences are historic,” Drew Dugan or the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce said.

Access to affordable child care, continued concerns about catching COVID-19 in the workplace, and boosted unemployment benefits and pandemic-related stimulus payments were cited as reasons why.