Skilled trades, technicians, engineers remain among most in-demand jobs in U.S.

RP news wires
Tags: talent management

Manpower on May 20 released the results of its fifth Manpower Talent Shortage Survey, revealing persistent talent shortages in many countries and industry sectors. In the United States, 14 percent of employers reported having difficulty filling key positions within their organization, down from 19% in 2009. Worldwide, 31% of employers are experiencing challenges finding the right talent, similar to the 2009 figure of 30%.

The most difficult U.S. jobs to fill are Skilled Trades, Sales Representatives, Nurses and Technicians. These job titles have appeared on the U.S. survey in past years and closely mirror the global results of the survey this year. The top hardest jobs to fill globally are Skilled Trades, Sales Representatives, Technicians and Engineers, according to the survey of more than 35,000 employers across 36 countries, which included 2,000 U.S. employers. Significantly, these are the same top jobs that employers have reported struggling to fill for the past four years, suggesting that there is an ongoing, systemic global shortage in these areas.

"Unemployment levels remain high in the United States, yet employers continue to have difficulty filling select positions," said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. "The issue is not a lack of candidates, but rather a talent mismatch. There are not enough sufficiently skilled people in the right places at the right times. Compounding the issue is the fact that employers are seeking ever more specific skill sets, or a rare combination of skill sets, and are less willing to engage in anticipatory hiring. This paradox adds up to a very challenging and frustrating situation at a time when people need work and employers need talent."

2010 U.S. Jobs Most in Demand     2009 U.S. Jobs Most in Demand

     1.   Skilled Trades               1.   Engineers
     2.   Sales Representatives        2.   Nurses
     3.   Nurses                       3.   Skilled Trades
     4.   Technicians                  4.   Teachers
     5.   Drivers                      5.   Sales Representatives
     6.   Restaurants & Hotel Staff    6.   Technicians
     7.   Management/Executives        7.   Drivers
     8.   Engineers                    8.   IT Staff
     9.   Doctors, Other Non-          9.   Laborers
     10.  Customer Service             10.  Machinist/Machine Operator
          Customer Support

Manpower's Fresh Perspectives Paper, "Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch", also released May 20, offers advice for employers to broaden their search for candidates to include industry migrants, location migrants, role changers and workforce entrants. Training and development are key to successfully tapping into these talent pools.

"By broadening their search for talent in untapped pools, employers can leverage candidates that may not be a precise fit but instead are a 'teachable fit'," added Prising. "Mastery of technical skills, while still important, matters less. Employers need to look for individuals that possess the capacity, capability and motivation to learn new skills in the future."

Among the 36 countries where the survey was conducted, employers in three countries report having less difficulty filling key positions than those in the U.S.: Norway (11%), United Kingdom (9%) and Ireland (4%). Employers having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs are those in Japan (76%), Brazil (64%), Argentina (53%), Singapore (53%), Poland (51%), Australia (45%), Hong Kong (44%), Mexico (43%), Peru (42%), Taiwan (41%), China (40%) and Panama (38%).

The complete global results of the Manpower Talent Shortage Survey and Fresh Perspectives Paper, "Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch", can be downloaded at

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