A new statewide survey by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce shows that of their 532 participating employers, 39% (202) said they recently have left jobs unfilled due to unqualified applicants.
The survey, in its seventh year, asked employers about their recruiting practices, training and continuing education offerings and skills needs in their workforce.
More than 40% of the survey participants had fewer than 50 employees and just over one-third represents manufacturing or advanced manufacturing industries.
Employers were asked what education level is required for their unfilled jobs, two-thirds (67%) indicated beyond a high school degree, with 38% saying middle skills (certificates, certification or associate’s degree) and 29% a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The most often cited occupations in need of good applicants were those in the skilled trades (such as an electrician or plumber) and engineering (from technician to design).
On a related topic, more than 70% of respondents (72%) said that filling their workforce was challenging, with nearly 20% labeling it the single biggest challenge they faced.
Meanwhile 55% of employers said that work ethic was the most lacking.
Communication, problem solving and attendance/punctuality each registered 42-43%.
Each of these soft skills was indicated as far more challenging to find than academic skills, such as reading, writing and math.