All this week, we're examining the so-called "skills gap" - the apparent mismatch between employers with jobs to fill, and the pool of unemployed or underemployed workers that exists in southeastern Wisconsin - and around the country.
It's an issue that's been on the radar of the Milwaukee-based staffing company, Manpower, Incorporated, for a long time. And for the past seven years, the international company has sought to quantify the situation - locally and globally. Manpower conducts an annual Talent Shortage Survey that collects and analyzes the data about jobs going unfilled. The survey starts out by asking employers a very simple question: "Are you struggling to fill mission-critical positions in your organization?" In 2012, nearly half of the respondents - 49 percent, to be exact - said yes, they were.
Melanie Holmes is a Vice President at Manpower Group and involved in the Talent Shortage Survey. She tells Lake Effect's Mitch Teich that within the 49-percent number, there are several job categories in which employers are experiencing the greatest number of challenges.