The latest report on jobs this Friday is expected to reveal only moderate hiring as around 12.5 million Americans remain jobless. But according to a recent survey, high unemployment isn’t simply due to a lack of available jobs.
Nearly half of U.S. employers say they are having trouble filling job openings due to a talent shortage, an annual survey by workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup finds (h/t Business Journal). After surveying 40,000 employers in 41 countries, ManpowerGroup reports that while 49 percent of U.S. companies are having difficulty finding qualified candidates, only 34 percent of companies worldwide report having the same problem.
Those looking for employees in skilled trades and engineers have struggled especially to find applicants with the necessary experience and skills to fill positions. Still, most employers don’t seem to mind the shortages with 56 percent saying the unfilled jobs have little or no impact on customers or investors.
Indeed, the notion of the talent shortage, or “skills mismatch” is one that not all economists are buying into. Economist Andrew Sum pointed out to The Huffington Post that a true worker shortage would prompt employers to increase compensation in order to attract more qualified candidates, a measure that according to ManpowerGroup’s survey, less than 10 percent of employers are choosing to do.
The apparent shortage of teachers is one trade that could support the claim that talent shortages are overstated. Ranking tenth on ManpowerGroup’s list, 32,000 teaching jobs have been lost over the past three years in California alone, while in Philadelphia a charter school recently laid off its entire teaching staff.
See below for the jobs employers are having the hardest time filling in 2012:
9. Machinists/Machine Operators
5. Accounting & Finance Staff
4. Sales Representatives
3. IT Staff
1. Skilled Trades