Forty-two percent of companies said they're having "severe challenges" finding workers, and 49 percent said they were having "moderate challenges, according to the trade groups.
The responses in the NTMA and PMA survey come from 199 metalworking manufacturers with an average of 77 employees in 2012, the groups said.
Here are other findings of the survey:
• 69 percent of companies had job openings.
• 81 percent of hiring companies had between one and five job openings.
• 14 percent had six to 10 job openings.
• 5 percent of companies had more than 11 open positions.
More than half of the manufacturers expected a 2013 sales increase of 10 percent or more. At least 60 percent said they're expecting increased sales.
PMA and NTMA, both based in Ohio, represent companies that make metal parts, tools and machinery.