The report was released by the National Skills Coalition to the annual Southern Governors Association meeting in Asheville.
In North Carolina, for example, 51 percent of available jobs fall into the "middle skills" category, while only 43 percent of job seekers are qualified.
Toyota Motors vice president James Wiseman says his company struggles to find qualified electricians, tool-and-dye workers and employees with similar skills.
Wiseman says many such jobs pay between $50,000 and $75,000, without requiring a four-year degree.
The report emphasizes the need to steer people toward those jobs and provide retraining long after high school ends.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)