Major economies need more skilled workers, engineers: study

Tue May 29, 2012 12:05am EDT
 
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By Nick Zieminski

(Reuters) - The United States and other large economies cannot find enough skilled workers, engineers and other in-demand employees, according to an annual study on talent shortages.

The study, by staffing services giant ManpowerGroup (MAN.N: Quote), found 34 percent of employers around the world report trouble filling jobs because of a lack of available talent. The percentage is unchanged from 2011 but up from the prior three years.

However, most of the employers -- 56 percent -- say unfilled jobs are likely to have little or no impact on customers and investors. That is up from 36 percent who said so a year ago.

Talent shortages persist despite high unemployment in many economies, especially among young people. Employers are more comfortable conducting business in an environment of talent shortages and remain reluctant to add workers while memories of recession are fresh, according to Manpower.

"Leaving positions unfilled may be a short-term fix, but it's a short-sighted and unsustainable approach to addressing talent shortages," Manpower Chief Executive Jeff Joerres said.

The top reasons for not filling jobs include a lack of available applicants; too few hard skills, such as speaking a foreign language among those who do apply; and a lack of experience. Smaller numbers of employers complained about deficiencies in applicants' soft skills, such as showing too little enthusiasm.

Manpower polled 40,000 employers in 41 countries and territories.

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