This is not just a problem in manufacturing or trades ... it hits engineering, science, etc jobs as well too. I work for an R&D company with about 500 employees. We have 68 openings, of which 60 are for technical people (everything from summer interns to senior research/experimental physicists). I've done college recruiting in the past, lots of new science & engineering graduates named Chin or Srinivasan ... not so many named John or Jane. John and Jane party for four years, get degrees in Medieval Flute Playing, wonder why they can't get jobs, and then go occupy Wall Street. Chin & Srini study for 18 hours a day, get advanced degrees in engineering or science, start a company and make big bux (or their visa expires, go back to the old country, and start the company there).
I expect it's the same in welding and other trades ... the guy who stopped learning when he found out that 6010 was a decent all around rod is probably not finding as many jobs as the guy who knows stick, mig, tig, different alloys and positions and ... well, you get the idea.
Sorry for the rant ... but I'm feeling much better now.
Merry Christmas to all (and to all a good night?)