In Midst of High Unemployment, Employers Find it Difficult to Fill Positions

NCPA’s Terry Neese Says not Finding Qualified Workers is a Top Concern for Businesses

DALLAS, TX (January 12, 2009) During the current economic downturn, companies are laying off more employees than they have in years. But NCPA Distinguished Fellow Terry Neese says there are a number of companies looking to hire new employees, but they can't find qualified workers.

A report by Dow Jones backs this up, saying nearly three-quarters of those firms that wanted to add workers reported few or no qualified applicants for the job openings they were trying to fill, and 8 percent said finding the right hires was a top business problem.

Neese, who owns a temporary and executive search firm, says despite new layoff announcements everyday there are still companies in the highly skilled sector that are looking for the right employees to hire. "Many workers lack the education and skills to qualify for the positions employers are hiring for," Neese said, "and it's becoming a major concern for small business." Neese adds that administrative and call center positions also are increasingly difficult to fill as well.

Legal, health care, education, and government are among those industries struggling to find qualified applicants, according to Neese. "I'm finding that many companies are considering paying for further education for the applicants who, with additional skills, would be a great asset to the company," Neese said.