There's a lack of qualified machinists in San Diego. Several local shops are constantly looking to fill vacancies to no avail. There could be several reasons why its becoming harder to fill those open jobs; job security, below average wages, and the high cost of living in San Diego.

Job security. It is human nature to be afraid of the unknown. Machinists who currently hold jobs in this tough job market are less likely to walk away from those jobs, even if they're not happy. That's because they already know what to expect in their currently job. Switching to another company is a little risky, especially if it doesn't work out. They'll most likely join the 11%+ unemployed in California for a while to come.

Low wages. With the economy in shambles, a lot of companies are very conservative on paying out lucrative salaries. The bottom lines of companies are constantly being squeezed. They'd much rather pay a little extra in overtime than add to their long term payrolls. Machinists with a lot of experience won't be tempted to jump ship for less than what they're worth.

The high cost of living in San Diego. Let's face it... San Diego is a very expensive place to live. Even with the housing market bubble popped, its still relatively hard to rent or buy a place to live in the county on limited funds. Before the housing market crashed, people were starting to leave the area for other cities with a lower cost of living. That migration has contributed to a shortage of machinists. Those highly skilled machinists left are now able to pick and choose the better companies they want to work for. The lesser qualified machinists would still fall into the 'job security' and 'low wages' categories.

This all equates to not finding qualified machinists. Local shops need to offer better compensation packages for potential employees and be more aggressive in recruiting/retaining machinists.