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Filling jobs difficult for majority of firms, about half raise wages to boost recruitment: ISM

May 08, 2019

A majority of companies reported difficulty filling open positions in the past six months, and about half are raising wages to attract workers, according to the “Spring 2019 Semiannual Economic Forecast” released today by the Institute for Supply Management. However, manufacturing firms are reporting slightly more difficulty finding workers than nonmanufacturing firms and are slightly more apt to raise wages to recruit new hires.

In the report’s survey, 76.0% of manufacturing firms reported difficulty hiring workers to fill open positions in the past six months. In response to the tight market, 53.7% of manufacturing firms raised wages to recruit new hires.

Among nonmanufacturing firms, 70% said they had difficulty hiring workers to fill open positions in the past six months. However, less than half, 48.1%, raised wages to recruit new hires.

Offering additional training to new hires was not used as much as raising wages by both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing firms.

Among manufacturers, 44.4% said they offered additional training for new hires while 55.6% did not. It was a similar story for nonmanufacturing firms; 45.5% offered additional training to new hires in the past six months; 54.5% did not.

Still, both manufacturers and nonmanufacturing firms reported they planned to increase employment by the end of the year. Manufacturers expect employment to rise by a net 2.0% by the end of the year compared to the end of 2018. However, the forecast was down from the prediction of 2.4% in a similar survey in December.

Nonmanufacturing firms expect employment to increase by a net 1.3% at the end of 2019.compared to the end of 2018. That compares to a net 2.0% forecast in the December survey.

Overall, the report said US economic growth is expected to continue throughout 2019.

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