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Survey: Machine operators are Midwest's toughest-to-fill job

August 14 2013

Machine operator ranks as the most difficult position to fill in the Midwest, according to an employment forecasting survey by QPS Employment Group. Twenty-six percent of companies surveyed stated that that machine operators was their hardest position to fill, up from 20 percent in the second quarter. General labor, engineering, skilled trades and maintenance/mechanics rounded out the top five most difficult to fill positions.

QPS surveyed 290 companies — including manufacturers, banks, printers, distributors and information technology firms — throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas City, Mo.

Other survey findings include:

Hiring trends:

  • 45 percent will increase levels
  • 5 percent will decrease levels
  • 50 percent will remain the same

Business in the third quarter:

  • 45 percent expect business to improve
  • 50 percent think that it will remain the same
  • 5 percent anticipate business to decline


  • 24 percent will increase wages
  • 1 percent will decrease wages
  • 75 percent will stay the same


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