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The research also reveals that 75 percent of respondents from the manufacturing industry were hiring in fall 2011, marking a jump from 51 percent in 2010; however, 68 percent of those hiring say they had trouble recruiting for specific job openings, according to a recent poll from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Of the positions that were most difficult to fill were high-skilled technical jobs at 89 percent, engineers at 88 percent, skilled trades at 83 percent, and managers and executives at 80 percent. Respondents also report seeing knowledge gaps in job applicants, including mathematics at 60 percent, writing in English at 40 percent, and reading comprehension at 40 percent. Among the top skills gap in the manufacturing industry were critical thinking and problem solving at 59 percent, teamwork at 45 percent, leadership at 42 percent, and written communications and professionalism at 39 percent each.

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