In 2011, the staffing firm ManpowerGroup surveyed 1,300 US employers to learn what kinds of employees were the most wanted. Topping the list were skilled workers, which include electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, cabinetmakers, masons, plumbers, and welders. The shortage may be due to less people attending vocational schools as opposed to four-year colleges. Mark Lennihan/AP
Sales representatives must have a mix of soft skills and technical skills, and are relied upon during a weak economy to help companies grow. Training to becoming an expert in a certain product and its market can be a lengthy process. PRNewsFoto/Verizon Wireless/File
Engineers are in short supply because not enough colleges are graduating individuals with engineering degrees. While there may be clusters of engineers flooding certain markets such as Silicon Valley, employers are still challenged to find engineers who are trained in more than one area. Business Wire/File
Many truck drivers work long hours, receive low wages, and must be away from home for long periods, not to mention having to put up with a changeable workload. For these reasons, truck driving positions are difficult to fill. Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal/AP/File
Accountants must possess key skills sets and credentials. The shortage of accountants may be because less people are choosing to major in accounting and following through with getting a CPA. The difficulty in hiring accountants may stem from not offering enough money. Robert Harbison/Staff
Information technology workers must stay on top of constantly changing technology. Almost every company nowadays uses computers and computer networks, thereby keeping the demand for IT experts high. Bebeto Matthews/AP/File
A talent mismatch caused by the needs of employers not matching the abilities of potential employees has resulted in hiring shortages even at the management and executive level. MacDonald's then-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jan Fields (c.) and other executives announce the McSkillet Burrito in Chicago in 2007. PRNewsFoto/McDonald's/File
Teachers are required to have advanced degrees, while their salaries are low compared to other professions. Teachers in the baby boomer age bracket are retiring, leaving openings that many school are finding it hard to fill. Robert K. O'Daniell/The News-Gazette/AP/File
Administrative assistants are hired by companies of every kind and must have extensive knowledge of computer software applications. In addition to their traditional clerical role, secretaries and administrative assistants are increasingly assuming responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff. Sigrid Olsson/Alttopress/Newscom/File
Highly skilled workers who are placed mostly in manufacturing, machinists are a very specialized group. The perception is that American manufacturing is defunct, but this could not be farther from the truth, and manufacturing companies are experiencing a shortage of workers. Gary Tramontina/AP/File
Public school doors in Chicago will open on Wednesday following a settlement between the city and its teachers. Chicago's mayor Rahm Emanuel called the agreement, 'an honest compromise.'
Mary Wisniewski and James B. Kelleher, Reuters /
September 19, 2012
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Chicago public school teachers voted on Tuesday to end their strike and resume classes in the third-largest U.S. school district, ending a confrontation with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that focused national attention on struggling urban schools.