EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon employers have told the state that nearly half the vacant jobs in the state are difficult to fill.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports the state Employment Department says hard-to-fill jobs are likely to require education beyond high school and experience, and they tended to be higher paying than jobs that are easier to fill.

The survey was taken last year, and the results released Monday. The two top reasons employers gave for difficulty in filling positions was lack of qualified candidates and unfavorable working conditions.

The department says many of the occupations that are on the difficult-to-fill list are in health care, manufacturing and transportation-related fields: physical therapists, nurses, welders, computer-controlled machine operators, tool operators, truck drivers and mechanics.

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