Milwaukee used to produce them, but recession or no, there continue to be shortages of skilled tradesmen, and the recovery is going to be slower for their continued scarcity.
The latest findings come from the seventh-annual Talent Shortage Survey being released Tuesday by ManpowerGroup Inc., a globally active staffing and recruitment company that has headquarters in Milwaukee.

Manpower found that 49% of U.S. employers encounter difficulty filling "mission-critical" positions within their organizations. Topping the list for a second consecutive year was a category called "skilled trades," which includes craftsmen such as steamfitters, tool-and-die makers, construction workers, bricklayers, electricians and industrial workers.

Also appearing on the list repeatedly since it began in 2006 are trades such as engineers and information technology specialists. The most common reasons employers run into trouble include lack of available applicants, applicants looking for more pay and lack of experience.

The problem is not new around Milwaukee, where some manufacturers complain they cannot fill orders or keep pace with the economic recovery, and some even chose to expand elsewhere in the United States or at offshore sites. In a regional study last year, the seven-county Milwaukee 7 economic development group estimated that 5,600 industrial jobs went unfilled despite chronic unemployment.
Where applicants lack experience, or seek higher pay, there is something called a compensating differential for employers to consider.

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