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April 22, 2008
10 Jobs Most Difficult to Fill

Engineers, machinists, and skilled trade workers are the three positions that employers are finding the most challenging to fill this year, according to a survey by Manpower, Inc.

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The company has been conducting the survey for 3 years. This year, the survey included 2,000 U.S. employers. The survey found that employers are reporting that the following 10 jobs are the most difficult to fill in 2008. The numbers in parentheses indicate where the jobs appeared on the list in the company's 2007 survey.

  1. Engineers
  2. Machinists/Machine Operators (10)
  3. Skilled Trades
  4. Technicians (4)
  5. Sales Representatives (1)
  6. Accounting & Finance Staff (8)
  7. Mechanics (3)
  8. Laborers (9)
  9. IT Staff
  10. Production Operators

Sales representatives, technicians, accountants/finance staff and machinists have appeared on the list for 3 consecutive years. Second on the list in 2006, engineers were in the number one position this year, after dropping off completely in 2007. Employers also reported that they are finding it difficult to fill openings for skilled trades people, IT staff, and production operators, all new to the list in 2008.

"While job categories have shifted on the list, it is clear all companies must have a plan for transitioning from baby boomers to younger generations," says Melanie Holmes, vice president, World of Work Solutions for Manpower North America. "It is essential for companies to find a balance where they are attracting and retaining aging workers while still developing innovative recruiting programs targeting young professionals, especially those interested in technical and trade careers."

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