WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Consumer complaints are at an all-time high, according to a consulting firm tracking marketplace trends for decades. At the same time, U.S. employers are seeking to fill millions of open positions.

From shopping online to paying rent and going to the hospital, 74% of consumers experienced a problem in 2022 as a customer — an increase of 6% from 2020, according to a report from Customer Care Measurement and Consulting.

When CCMC surveyed consumers in the mid-1970s, around one in three consumers shared complaints.

“I totally think there’s a lack of person-to-person,” said Northern Virginia resident Eric Del Rosa Wednesday.

The widespread reported frustration from consumers comes as many employers struggle to hire qualified candidates for various roles

“I think people are grabbing at straws and trying to figure it out themselves,” Del Rosa said.

There was an estimated 10.8 million job openings nationwide in January, according to a report that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released this month.

On Wednesday, the Arlington County Department of Human Services reported nearly 180,000 active job advertisements in the metro D.C. area.

“There seems to be jobs out there, and there seems to be people who need work,” Christine Hegemann, also a northern Virginia resident, said.

Hegemann said some employers appear to be adjusting to the immediate need for employees in certain industries, saying, “It seems like businesses that figured that out and maybe cut back overall service seem to do better than companies, or, places that are trying to do what they used to do and they can’t.”

Consumer advocates recommended that customers looking for resolutions like refunds and replacements document their experience, know about their own consumer rights protected by federal law and consider filing a federal complaint at usa.gov.

CCMC’s ‘National Customer Rage Study’ said the following 10 industries received the most complaints from consumers:

  • Dwelling/rental
  • Hotel/motel/resort
  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Online video games
  • Banking
  • Delivery services -online order of smaller goods (e.g., food delivery)
  • Automobile (purchase, repair)
  • Online shopping/e-commerce
  • Airline