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ATLANTA -- Despite high unemployment, American and Atlanta employers still struggle to fill certain positions particularly in skilled trades, engineering and IT, ManpowerGroup reported Tuesday.

In its seventh-annual Talent Shortage Survey, the human resources company said 49 percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling critical positions in their organizations. This is slightly lower than 52 percent in 2011.

The most common reasons employers cite for trouble filling jobs include lack of available applicants, applicants looking for more pay and lack of experience, ManpowerGroup said.

ManpowerGroup's Atlanta Regional Director Beth Herman said Atlanta mirrors the nation, with skilled trades, IT staff, sales representatives, machinist/machine operators, and engineering positions in high demand with few qualified candidates.

"Skilled trades in Atlanta is as hot as a pistol right now and it's hard to find qualified candidates, plus the very good ones are already working," Herman said. "Sales reps are always hard to find, and a sales rep in health care is different than a sales rep selling newspapers or technology. And who drives business growth? Sales reps."

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate is coming down little by little, but remained high at 8.5 percent in April, according to the most recent data from the Georgia Department of Labor

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