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Employers Having a Hard Time Finding Qualified Workers

Despite Unemployment Numbers 87% Say it is Somewhat/Very Difficult to Fill Positions

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/09/14 -- Express Employment Professionals, the nation's largest franchised staffing firm, today released a report that found that despite high unemployment it is still difficult for employers to fill open positions.

In total, 87 percent of Express franchises said it was "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to fill positions. Twenty-five percent said it is "very difficult" to fill positions, while 58 percent report it's "somewhat difficult." Only 9 percent said it is "somewhat easy" and only 5 percent believed it was "very easy" to recruit and fill positions.

The findings come from the 2014 survey of 22 Express franchises across Canada.

When asked the "primary reason that your open jobs are not filled," 64 percent of respondents attributed the issue to a "lack of available applicants." Respondents continue to blame the lack of workers and a mismatch between what employers are looking for and what employees expect. There is a "skills gap" between the skills employers seek and the skills prospective employees possess.

"I'm sure it will surprise some Canadians to hear that in many parts of the country employers are having trouble finding the right talent," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "Because of the skills gap, the unemployment rate is still higher than it should be.

"It's encouraging to see that jobs, skilled trades shortages, and education will be the focus of the federal and provincial labour ministers meeting later this week in Charlottetown. They must recognize that as a country, we need more training and re-training for workers, so that Canadians who are unemployed can be more competitive and fill the positions that are available. That's critical to lowering unemployment."

Full results of the survey are below.

Currently, how easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?

Very easy                                                     5%
Somewhat easy                                                 9%
Somewhat difficult                                           59%
Very difficult                                               27%

What is the primary reason that your open jobs are not filled?

Lack of available applicants                                 64%
Not enough pay offered                                       14%
Lack of experience                                            5%
Lack of hard skills                                           5%
Other                                                         5%
Client location                                               9%

About Robert A. Funk

Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has 700 franchises in Canada, the U.S. and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals and Express in Canada

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013. Express ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and the second largest privately held staffing company in North America. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

Express launched in Canada in July 1996, with a franchise in London, Ontario, and since then, has expanded and grown in Canada significantly. There are currently 35 Express franchises in Canada - six in British Columbia, six in Alberta, and 23 in Ontario.

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