Business and Economics

Survey: Lack Of Qualified Workers Leaves Many Jobs Unfilled

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July 2, 2014 — By BRANDON SMITH, IPBS

An Indiana Chamber of Commerce survey finds most employers have a difficult time finding qualified employees.

Nearly 40 percent of Indiana employers surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce say they’ve left jobs unfilled because of a lack of qualified applicants.

More than 70 percent of employers say finding qualified hires is challenging, with nearly 20 percent calling it their biggest challenge.

Ninety-six percent of employers also expect their workforce to either stay level or increase in the next couple of years, meaning the jobs left unfilled are still there.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President Derek Redelman says part of the reason there are so many unfilled positions – in a state with more than 150,000 people unemployed – is that the Hoosier economy has changed, and people have been slow to realize it.

“Those manual labor, high paid jobs really aren’t around anymore,” Redelman says.

Redelman says unemployed Hoosiers should focus on getting job certifications or a two-year degree. He says, in the types of jobs being left unfilled, such as electricians, plumbers and engineers, people don’t need a four-year degree to earn a good wage.

“If you’re pursuing a technical area or a STEM area, those two-year degrees can average 40 percent more than an average bachelor’s degree or a one-year industry certificate can average 20 percent more if you’re in a STEM arena,” he says.

Redelman says solving the problem will ultimately take time, and that it’s good to see legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle, along with the governor, focused on the issue.


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