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Survey Shows Talent Shortage Grows Despite High Unemployment

May 19, 2011

A survey of companies’ search for talent released May 19 by ManpowerGroup revealed the number of employers struggling to fill positions is at an all-time survey high despite an unemployment rate that has shrunk only slightly during the past year.

Fifty-two percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling key positions within their organizations, up from 14 percent in 2010, according to Milwaukee-based based ManpowerGroup’s sixth annual Talent Shortage Survey.

ManpowerGroup surveyed more than 1,300 U.S. employers, who said the jobs that are most difficult to fill include skilled trades, sales representatives and engineers, all of which have appeared on the U.S. list multiple times in the past. The survey also highlights the most common reasons employers say they are having trouble filling jobs, including candidates looking for more pay than is offered, lack of technical skills and lack of experience.

Worldwide, according to the survey, 1 in 3 employers is struggling to fill key vacancies.

“The fact that companies cite a lack of skills or experience as a reason for talent shortages should be a wake-up call for employers, academia, government and individuals,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas, in a news release.

“It is imperative that these stakeholders work together to address the supply-and-demand imbalance in the labor market in a systematic, agile and sustainable way,” he added. “There may also be an increasing imbalance between employers willingness to pay higher salaries in what is still a soft general labor market compared to the salary expectations of prospective employees, especially those with skills that are in high demand.”

—Rick Bell

ManpowerGroup’s 2011 list of hardest jobs to fill for U.S. companies:
1. Skilled trades
2. Sales representatives
3. Engineers
4. Drivers
5. Accounting and finance staff
6. Information technology staff
7. Management/executives
8. Teachers
9. Secretaries/administrative assistants
10. Machinist/machine operator