New Survey: Businesses Report It’s Getting Harder to Fill Jobs

70% Say Recruiting and Hiring is Very or Somewhat Difficult; Nearly one-third Blame Lack of Applicants

Express Employment Professionals recently released new survey results revealing the difficult time businesses are having filling jobs-and the reasons for that difficulty.

In a survey of 533 businesses, respondents were asked, “How easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?”

Almost one quarter, 24 percent, said “very difficult,” and another 46 percent said “somewhat difficult.” In total, 70 percent reported some level of difficulty, the highest percentage since the last quarter of 2016.

In contrast, 25 percent said “somewhat easy,” while just 4 percent said, “very easy.”

“There should be little doubt at this point that we have a tight labor market and are approaching full employment, at least by conventional measures,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express. “As a result, it’s not surprising to see companies lamenting the difficulty of finding talent. Employers would be well-advised to consider new recruitment and retention strategies. If the economy continues to grow, these challenges will not subside, and it will be up to business leaders and elected officials alike to find ways to bring more people into the American workforce.”

Respondents were also asked for the “primary reason that your open jobs are not filled.”

Almost one third, 32 percent, blamed the “lack of available applicants,” while 30 percent said the “lack of applicants with experience.” This is a slight shift from the previous three quarters of the survey when “experience” ranked higher than “available applicants.”

Other top responses included “I have all my positions filled” (20 percent); “lack of applicants with hard skills” (18 percent); “lack of applicants with soft skills” (13 percent); and “company’s geographic location” (13 percent).

Full results are below.


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