Even in Recession, Nurses in High Demand, Survey Shows

Manpower finds engineers, nurses toughest positions to fill.

    • June 26, 2009

In many parts of the country, nurses may be having a harder time finding jobs than in the past, but they’re still among the nation’s most highly sought after employees, according to a recent survey of the 10 hardest jobs to fill in the United States.

Nurses ranked second on the list, based on a survey of more than 2,000 employers conducted by Milwaukee-based Manpower, Inc. in the first quarter of this year.

Even in an economy with staggering unemployment rates, employers are having a hard time filling nursing vacancies, the survey found—lending credibility to nursing’s reputation as a recession-proof profession.

Experts say nursing jobs are hard to fill because of growing demand for health care services and a shrinking supply of nurses. Aging baby-boomers are living longer and placing greater demands on the health care system, and the nursing workforce is graying along with them. There aren’t enough younger nurses to take the place of older nurses who will soon retire, and nurse education programs do not have the capacity to train enough new nurses to meet projected needs. So nurses are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Topping the list of hard-to-fill positions in Manpower’s new survey are engineers. The list also includes skilled tradespeople, teachers, sales representatives, technicians, drivers, information technologists, laborers and machine operators.