Staff shortages still affecting nearly 70% of businesses worldwide

Industries having the hardest time filling roles are manufacturing and finance

Nearly 70% of employers worldwide are having a difficult time filling vacancies, according to employment-services provider ManpowerGroup Inc.  

This marks a 15-year high for the second consecutive quarter, underscoring the notion that attracting workers still remains a major obstacle for businesses, according to ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 45,000 employers. 

The industries having the hardest time filling roles are manufacturing and finance. About 80% of organizations planning to hire in those sectors reported having a hard time finding skilled talent, according to the survey. 


To combat this struggle, about 67% of employers are offering up more flexibility with work schedules and are being more lenient on where the work gets done, according to the survey. About 41% are investing in training, skills development and mentoring.

However, 15 markets around the world, including the U.S., reported their highest hiring outlook since the survey began in 1962. The U.S., alongside Canada and India, is among the countries that have some of the strongest hiring prospects.  

A "now hiring" sign on Melrose Avenue amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images)

U.S. employers, as well as those in Canada and Mexico, have the strongest hiring intentions. All 12 industry sectors in the U.S. reported having "hiring intentions at ten-year highs" with plans to bring workers back following the pandemic.


"This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturn," ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising said. 

Prising said the company is seeing sharp increases in hiring optimism as "vaccine rollouts gain momentum and lockdown restrictions ease in many markets." 

However, fears surrounding the virus and the recent surge in cases driven by the COVID-19 delta variant have stifled hiring plans. 

"Some workers are hesitant to re-engage with employers as factors including health concerns and childcare challenges continue," Prising added. 

As talent shortages continue, businesses will continue to prioritize "retaining and training workers with the skills they need to succeed as the economic recovery continues," he said.