By Sharad KC

Talent shortage is an existing problem for businesses, site selection consultants, and economic development agencies, especially with growing economies and an aging population like that of the U.S. According to a recent Talent Shortage Survey from Manpower Group*, 32 percent of the employers reported facing difficulties filling jobs in 2015.

The top five jobs that were hardest to fill were:

1. Skilled Trade Workers
2. Drivers
3. Teachers
4. Sales Representatives
5. Administrative Professionals

The most common reasons for difficulty in filling jobs were:

• Lack of available applicants/no applicants
• Lack of experience
• Lack of technical competencies (hard skills)

While the U.S. has been adding a substantial number of jobs over the last five years, layoffs frequently happen in the process. These layoffs provide a great source of experienced talent for businesses looking to expand. While it is a daunting task to collect each and every layoff, Warn Notices (companies have to report about their mass layoffs to the state) provide a great source of data in tracking the number and types of job cuts. My data story (click link for full screen) provides an overall picture of where and what type of layoffs were happening during the first two quarters of 2015 throughout the United States.

*Manpower surveyed 41,700 hiring managers across 42 countries in its annual “talent shortage” report in the first three months of 2015.