Many jobs going unfilled for over 3 months

Current and former military personnel stand in line for interviews at the Opportunity Job Fair Sept. 6, 2012, at the old Naval Training Center in San Diego. Getty Images

(MoneyWatch) Despite the fact that the unemployment rate is hovering around 7.5 percent, more than a third of companies have positions that have gone unfilled for at least three months, according to a new study.

This is just one more indicator that there is a growing mismatch between the skills job seekers have and the ones companies are looking for.

CareerBuilder.com, an online jobs site, asked more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals to identify the hardest-to-fill positions within their organizations -- those that stay open 12 weeks or longer. It then paired the list of occupations with job growth data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists to find out the number of new positions created in those occupations in the past three years.

While many jobs on the list require very specialized skills and extensive education, there are also a surprising number -- like sales representatives and truck drivers -- that don't call for years of training.

"Although the recession created an abundant pool of readily-available, unemployed talent that still exists today, employers are struggling to find new employees for technology-related occupations, sales, healthcare and a variety of other areas," CareerBuilder's Brent Rasmussen said in a release. "Two in five employers (41 percent) reported that they continuously recruit throughout the year so that they have candidates in their pipeline in case a position opens up down the road. The skills gap that exists for high-growth, specialized occupations will become even more pronounced in the years to come, prompting the need to place a greater emphasis on reskilling workers through formal education and on-the-job training."

Here are the number of jobs created in the past three years where positions are going unfilled for at least 12 weeks:

  • Sales representative: 584,792
  • Machine operator/Assembler/Production worker: 135,363
  • Nurse: 135,325
  • Truck driver: 113,517
  • Software developer: 103,708
  • Engineer: 73,995
  • Marketing professional: 57,045
  • Accountant: 55,670
  • Mechanic: 53,002
  • IT Manager/Network administrator: 48,709

According to the Labor Department, 36.7 percent of all those looking for work have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks. For those people and others, this list may provide a guide if they are considering changing careers or retraining.



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    Constantine von Hoffman is a freelance writer and writing coach. His work has appeared in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, NPR, Sierra magazine, Brandweek, CIO, The Boston Herald, TheStreet.com, CSO, and Boston Magazine.

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