Survey: Midwest employers seeking job candidates

Nearly 50 percent have open positions

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A survey of Midwest employers finds more than 70 percent are expecting to hire during the current quarter and nearly 50 percent have open positions they cannot fill due to a lack of qualified candidates.

QPS Employment Group, a Wisconsin-based staffing and recruiting firm with an office in Cedar Rapids, found the pressure to fill positions is increasing. Respondents are planning to hire between one and nine people and 70 percent indicated they have considered adding a training program to address the lack of skilled candidates.

“Our survey also revealed that a growing number of companies — more than 27 percent — will increase wages in the third quarter,” said Scott Mayer, president of QPS.

“While the majority of companies are not planning to implement wage increases, our local office staff say their most forward-thinking employers are bucking the trend to do what it takes to stay competitive. Unless more employers think this way, the industry will not be able to close the demand and supply gap you currently see.”

QPS said the top five jobs in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin fall into two categories — general labor (assembly, packaging, warehouse/logistics, food processing and machine operators) and skilled manufacturing (forklift drivers, CNC machine operators, welders, machine set up and maintenance, and quality control).

Brookfield, Wis.-based QPS acquired Cambridge Staffing of Cedar Rapids in 2012. The locally owned company had operated independently for 33 years.

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