St. Louis Companies Expect Fewer Layoffs Compared to 2011

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Following up on a previous report, an article in the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that, while fewer St. Louis firms plan to hire in 2012 than 2011, fewer businesses also plan to lay off workers, too.

The article said employers are struggling to find qualified candidates:

“In this year’s report, 76 percent of employers said they hired less experienced workers and trained them with the skills they needed,” said Rod Nunn, vice chancellor for economic development and workforce solutions for St. Louis Community College. “The skills gap is one of the region’s most important economic challenges, and I was pleased to hear from four employers today who are making important investments to get the right employees, with the right skills, in the right positions.”

The Post-Dispatch goes on to report soft skills are especially in demand:

“Where we find the skills gap most often is when candidates are coming to us without the necessary life skills or soft skills; often it’s the inability to communicate,” said panelist JoAnn Shaw, vice president and chief learning officer for BJC HealthCare. “If a person is dealing with patient or a patient’s family and cannot communicate, that’s a problem.”

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