For at least 35 years, manufacturing executives have lamented the shortage of skilled workers. They're still are. Significantly, however, in one recent survey a higher percentage of CEOs said a lack of skilled, trained workers was a greater potential barrier to business growth than were higher oil and other energy prices.
Nearly half -- 49% -- of 312 CEOs of privately held, fast-growing U.S. manufacturing and service companies interviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers foresaw a shortage of qualified workers as a potential barrier to business growth during the next 12 months.
Roughly the same percentage -- 48% -- were concerned about the effect a lack of demand might have on their businesses, and 38% worried about pressures for higher wages. A third of those surveyed -- 33% -- were concerned that higher energy prices would slow growth.
The companies the CEOs head range in size from about $5 million to $150 million in annual revenue or sales.