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Survey shows growing US shortage of skilled labour

US employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find skilled workers, according to a survey published on Monday, suggesting upward pressure on wage growth down the road. The National Association for Business Economics' latest business conditions survey found that 35 percent of the 112 economists who participated reported their firms had seen shortages of skilled labour during the quarter ending in July.

That compared with only 25 percent in the April survey and marked a sharp pick-up from 22 percent during the July quarter last year. "The panel reports markedly increased shortages in the July survey, especially of skilled labour," said survey Chairman Jim Diffley, who is also a senior director at IHS Economics.

The NABE survey is the latest to suggest a tightening labour market. Early in July, the National Federation of Independent Business said that 44 percent of small businesses looking to hire that month reported few or no qualified applicants for positions they were trying to fill. Although job growth has accelerated and the unemployment rate has dropped to seven-year lows, that has not been accompanied by strong wage growth.

Copyright Reuters, 2015


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