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Good Workers Are Always Difficult to Find

April 23, 2009

A new survey indicates that despite Michigan’s high unemployment rate, many businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers. However, SBAM’s recent Small Business Barometer surveys of small businesses finds that most small employers report that they feel positive about access to qualified personnel.

The survey by the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America found that 13 percent of small to mid-sized Michigan businesses plan to hire new employees in the next six months, resulting in an estimated 260,000 positions that need to be filled. A significant portion of business owners believe they will have trouble filling these positions, not because of a shortage of applicants, but because of a shortage of qualified applicants.

The findings come from the semi-annual “Future Business Index” study, commissioned by Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and conducted by EPIC – MRA in November 2007. A total of 608 Michigan business owners, operators, officers or managers were interviewed.

Specifically, of the survey respondents who said they have had difficulty filling full-time positions during the past year, 70 percent offered “not enough of the applicants were qualified for the positions” as the reason. These industries range from non-profits and health care to manufacturing. The top two industries expected to look for qualified candidates in the next six months are business and professional services.

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