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More job applicants need extra training or extra pay, polls finds

Businesses in New York State are increasingly using training programs to prepare new employees for job openings that are difficult to fill, according to two polls released Monday.

More than four in 10 factories across the state, in a recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said they are hiring less qualified people and providing additional training to upgrade their skills. That compares with three in 10 in a 2017 bank survey.

In that recent poll, training new hires was cited most frequently by manufacturers from a list of eight potential remedies to the shortage of skilled workers.

In a separate survey of retailers and service firms in the metropolitan region, the bank found 25 percent are hiring less qualified people and providing them with additional training. That’s up from 16 percent two years ago.

However, unlike the factories, service firms’ antidote of choice to the worker shortage is offering higher salaries and signing bonuses. Nearly four in 10 service firms said they are boosting compensation for new hires.

More money ranked No. 2 among manufacturers, or 38 percent, as a response to hiring difficulties.  

The New York Fed surveyed about 100 manufactures statewide and 100 service firms on Long Island, in New York City and its northern suburbs. Both polls were conducted earlier this month.

More than six in 10 factories and service firms said it's been hard to find new workers in the past three months.

“When those who were having difficulties were asked to elaborate, the vast majority of such businesses in both surveys cited a lack of qualified applicants,” the bank said in a statement. “Nearly a third of the service firms and nearly a quarter of the manufacturers cited job candidates rejecting job offers.”

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