What skills are employers looking for? Survey says...

Difficulty finding someone with these qualities has intensified in recent years

A majority of employers struggle to find prospective employees with strong interpersonal skills, computer skills, and reliability, according to a recent survey—and the problem has gotten worse over the last two years, Myles Udland reports for Business Insider.

Related: The five most employable majors in 2014

Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York surveyed hundreds of manufacturing and business leaders in New York and the surrounding region about worker skills and job vacancies. The bank has distributed the same survey to the same pool of respondents since 2002.

According to the results, business and manufacturing leaders agree that they have the most trouble finding workers with "advanced" computer skills, interpersonal skills, and reliability.

And employers say the problem has grown worse in the last two years. For example, since 2013, manufacturing leaders say the "difficulty rating" of hiring someone with advanced computer skills has grown 8.5 percentage points.

However, survey results also show that the vast majority of employers expect to raise wages over the next year—and more of them expect to give larger raises than in the past. About 17% of manufacturing leaders expect to raise wages by more than 4%, compared with 7.4% of manufacturing leaders last year and only 1.3% of them in 2012. Similarly, about 15.3% of business leaders expect to raise wages by more than 4%, compared with 7.8% of business leaders last year and only 4.3% of them in 2012 (Federal Reserve Bank of New York release [1], April 2015; Federal Reserve Bank of New York release [2], April 2015; Udland, Business Insider, 4/16).

The takeaway: A survey of employers in the New York region finds that the most in-demand applicant skills are advanced computer literacy, reliability, and interpersonal skills.


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