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May 1995, Vol. 118, No. 5
Harley J. Frazis, Diane E. Herz, and Michael W. Horrigan
I n recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role that training-especially job skills training-plays in the economy. Concerns over the competitiveness of U.S. labor in the globalized economy, the weak performance of labor productivity since 1973, and the widening gap between the earnings of high school graduates and the college educated workers are among the reasons cited to support increasing the training provided the U.S. work force.
As researchers attempt to examine the potential impact of training on the economy, and as lawmakers wrestle with the question of the appropriate role of public policy, a growing need has arisen for more and better data on both the nature and the extent of private-sector training. To be sure, a rich array of data on the training received by individuals is provided by various household surveys, such as the Current Population Survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In contrast to this information, however, data on the nature and extent of training opportunities provided by private businesses are scarce. Indeed, a comprehensive data base containing such information simply does not exist. Despite the gap, academic researchers have been innovative in their use of the limited data that do exist. Some researchers have adopted a case study approach, others have used the information on training that can be found in existing Federal surveys, and still others have conducted their own surveys. Still, given the concerns over the competitiveness and relative productivity of U.S. industries, it is important that improved information on the nature of employer-provided training be collected.
This excerpt is from an article published in the May 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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