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Survey: Right talent for the job hard to find

Despite high unemployment, finding the right person for the job is not easy. ManpowerGroup has released the results of its sixth-annual Talent Shortage Survey, revealing that 52% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations, up from 14% in 2010. The number of employers struggling to fill positions is at an all-time survey high despite an unemployment rate that has diminished only marginally during the last year. U.S. employers are struggling to find available talent more than their global counterparts, one in three of whom are having difficulty filling positions.

According to the more than 1,300 U.S. employers surveyed, 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.

“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. “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. 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.”

In the United States, the top 10 hardest jobs to fill include:

  1. Skilled trades
  2. Sales representatives
  3. Engineers
  4. Drivers
  5. IT staff
  6. Management/executives
  7. Teachers
  8. Secretaries/administrative assistants
  9. Machinists/machine operators

Falling off the 2011 list (from 2010) were nurses, technicians, doctors and other non-nursing professionals, and customer service representatives.

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