Despite the higher unemployment rates, employers are still having difficulty filling their open positions. According to the 2012 Economic Outlook Survey conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, 43% of the Wisconsin CEO’s surveyed reported a shortage of qualified applicants.
With so many unemployed one would expect that there would be several qualified applicants for every open position. So why is there a labor shortage? The problem may be as much of an applicant/employee training issue as it is a job creation issue. One manufacturer looking to fill 134 entry-level jobs paying $15 per hour received 850 applications, but only hired 17 of the applicants. Many lacked a high-school diploma, or could not pass basic reading, math, or dexterity tests. Others failed the drug or alcohol test.
In a weak economy the labor pool becomes larger and finding employees may be easier, but finding the right employees remains a challenge.