Engineering Jobs Top U.S. Skills Shortage List

April 24, 2008
But latest Manpower survey shows U.S. faring better than other nations.

Engineering positions are the most difficult jobs to fill for U.S. employers, according to Manpower Inc.'s 2008 Talent Shortage Survey released April 24. Of 2,000 U.S. firms responding, 22% said they had difficulty filling positions, ranking engineers, machinists/machine operators and skilled manual trades as the top three toughest positions to fill, respectively. Skilled manual trades in the United States refers primarily to welders or carpenters.

The United States appears to be in much better shape than other countries worldwide and throughout North America. In Canada, 31% of 1,742 employers said they had trouble finding skilled workers, ranking skilled manual trades as the largest void. Of 4,799 respondents, 28% of Mexican employers say they face a labor shortage, especially technicians.

Employers indicated the greatest skills shortages include Romania (73%), Japan (63%), Hong Kong (61%), Singapore (57%), Australia (52%) and Taiwan (51%). The skills gap appears to be least troublesome in India (12%), United Kingdom (12%), Ireland (14%), China (15%) and the Netherlands (15%).

Worldwide, skilled manual trades, sales representatives, technicians, engineers and management/executives ranked as the top five most-difficult positions to fill, respectively. The Manpower survey questioned 43,000 employers across 32 countries and territories in late January 2008.

To view the entire report visit Manpower's Web site at

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