It isn’t the just big manufacturers, oil companies and railroad operators that are struggling to hire skilled workers.

The “Help Wanted” sign is also a regular fixture at small firms such as Group One Safety & Security in Stuart, Fla., despite the high national unemployment rate, which was 8.2% in June.

About 31% of 811 small-business owners and chief executives said they had unfilled job openings in July because they couldn’t identify applicants with the right skills or experience, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International, a peer advisory organization for senior-level executives based in San Diego, Calif.

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