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Economic News Release
SEPT SEPT Program Links

1995 Survey of Employer Provided Training-Employee Results

Technical Information:   (202) 606-7386 USDL 96-515

Media Contact:      (202) 606-5902 For release:  10:00 A.M.
                                   Thursday, December 19, 1996
                    RECEIVED BY EMPLOYEES
     Employees who work in establishments with 50 or more
workers received an average of 44.5 hours of training in the
period May-October 1995, according to a survey of employees
conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.
Department of Labor.  Of these total training hours, 70
percent, or 31.1 hours, were spent receiving informal
training, while 13.4 hours were in formal training.  The
survey also found that in the May-October 1995 period, an
estimated $647 per employee was spent on wage and salary
costs of training, with about 65 percent of the amount spent
on informal training.

     The 1995 Survey of Employer-Provided Training (SEPT95)
was sponsored by the Employment Training Administration of
the U.S. Department of Labor and involved two major
components:  (1) a survey of establishments and (2) a survey
of randomly-selected employees in the surveyed
establishments.  In an earlier news release (July 10, 1996,
USDL#96-268), BLS reported on findings from the SEPT95
establishment survey, focusing on the amount of formal
training provided and selected costs of formal training.
This news release provides results from the employee survey,
including information on the amount of formal and informal
training received and the wage and salary cost of the time
that employees spent in both formal and informal training.

     Over 1,000 employees were surveyed from May through
October 1995.  Each employee had a personal-visit interview
and provided information on his/her age, sex,
race/ethnicity, occupation, education, earnings, and tenure,
as well as information on his/her past training and its
benefits.  In addition to this background information,
employees were asked to answer a series of questions on the
new skills or information they learned each day over a 10-
day period.  Information was collected on the nature,
length, and type of each learning activity.  These learning
activities were then categorized by BLS as either formal
training, informal training, or self learning.  (See
technical note for additional details on data collection and
measurement methods.)

Training by type and delivery method

     While working for their current employers, 84 percent
of employees received some kind of formal training and 96
percent received some kind of informal training.  (See table
1.)  During the six-month survey period, employees received
an average of 44.5 hours of training, of which 13.4 hours
were spent in formal training and 31.1 hours in informal
training.  (See table 2.)  In other words, 70 percent of the
training was conducted through informal instruction.

Job-skills training.  Computer training, both formal and
informal, was the most commonly received type of job-skills
training.  Thirty-eight percent of employees received formal
computer training and 54 percent received informal training
in computers while working for their current employer.
Professional- and technical-skills training, management
training, and sales and customer-relations training also
were common types of training:  between 27 and 31 percent of
employees received these types of formal training while
working for their current employer.  In terms of informal
training, computer training was followed by production- and
construction-related training, management training, sales
and customer-relations training, and clerical and
administrative support skills training.  Between 30 and 34
percent of employees received each of these types of
informal training while working for their current employer.

     During May-October 1995, employees received more hours
of computer training and production- and construction-
related training than any other type of job-skills training.
On average, employees received 11.8 hours of computer
training during this period.  About 5.1 hours, or 43
percent, of computer training was conducted formally,
compared with an average of 30 percent for all types of
training.  In contrast, only 19 percent of the 10.6 hours of
production- and construction-related training received was
spent in formal training.  Clerical, sales, and service-
related training also had higher-than-average shares of
training that were conducted informally.

General-skills training.  Among the types of general-skills
training, occupational-safety training was the most common
with 58 percent of employees receiving formal training in
this area while working for their current employer.
Communications, employee-development, and quality training
was the next most common at 40 percent.  The percentages for
receipt of informal training were 48 and 33 percent,
respectively.  The receipt of basic-skills training (i.e.,
training in elementary reading, writing, arithmetic, and
English language skills) was much less common.  Only 7
percent of employees received formal training and 3 percent
received informal training in basic skills while working for
their current employer.

     In May-October 1995, employees received roughly 2-1/2
hours of training in both occupational-safety and
communications, employee-development, and quality training
compared with only 18 minutes of basic-skills training.
Communications, employee-development, and quality training
stood out as the only type of general-skills training where
the majority of the training was conducted formally rather
than informally.

Training by demographic characteristics

Age.  The youngest and oldest workers were less likely to
have received formal training during the last 12 months than
were workers ages 25 to 54. (See table 3.)  Similarly, the
total hours of training during the May-October 1995 period
were lowest for the youngest and oldest workers.  Workers 24
years of age or younger and workers 55 years or older
received about half as many hours of total training as prime-
aged workers.  (See table 4.)  This general pattern is in
evidence for both hours of formal and informal training, but
particularly for hours of formal training.  The relatively
low hours of formal training among the very young provides
some support for the idea that employers and/or employees
may be delaying their investment in training until they are
sure the employment arrangement is likely to last.  The low
hours of training for workers 24 years or younger may also
be influenced by the fact that very young workers tend to
change jobs frequently and may not have settled into their
chosen career.

Sex.  Men received an estimated 48 hours of training during
the six-month survey period compared with 42 hours for
women.  However, this difference is too small relative to
the precision of the estimates to conclude that the hours of
training are substantially different between men and women.

Race and ethnicity.  In general, white workers tended to
receive more hours of training (48.5 hours) over the six-
month period than either black (27.7 hours) or Hispanic
workers (32.7 hours).  While blacks received about the same
number of hours of formal training as white workers, they
received significantly fewer hours of informal training.

Educational attainment.  Employees with a high-school
education or less were not as likely to have received formal
training during the last 12 months as more educated
counterparts.  About 60 percent of those with a high-school
diploma or less received formal training during the last 12
months, compared with 90 percent of those with a bachelor's
degree or higher.  Hours of training in May-October 1995
also were smallest for the least-educated group, though the
differences in hours of training per employee across
different educational attainment groups were not

Training by employment characteristics

Tenure.  The number of total training hours per employee
over the May-October 1995 period appears to follow a U-
shaped pattern with respect to tenure with current employer.
For instance, employees with fewer than two years of tenure
received an average of 65 hours of training; workers with
more than two years but fewer than five years at the
establishment received an average of 24 hours, and those
with 5-10 years of tenure received 47 hours.  (See table 6.)

Full- or part-time.  Full-time workers (35 or more hours per
week) were more likely to have received formal training in
the last 12 months than were part-time workers (72 percent
versus 56 percent).  (See table 5.)  Similarly, during the
May-October 1995 period, full-time workers received an
average of 49 hours of training, versus 13 hours for part-
time workers.  Full-time workers received nearly five times
as much informal training (34 hours for full- versus 8 hours
for part-time workers) and three times as much formal
training (15 hours versus 5 hours).

Occupation.  Service workers are less likely than those in
other occupations to have received formal training during
the last 12 months.  Professional and technical workers
received the highest number of hours of both formal and
informal training in May-October 1995.  For formal training
alone, there was a considerable gap between the number of
hours of training received by professional and technical
workers (22 hours) and the number received by employees in
most other occupations, particularly managers (4 hours) and
service workers (6 hours).

Earnings quartiles.  Those in the bottom quartile of the
earnings distribution were less likely to receive formal
training and received fewer hours of formal training than
higher earners.  Sixty-two percent of those in the bottom
quartile received formal training in the last 12 months
compared with 84 percent of those in the top quartile.  Low
earners received 4 hours of formal training during the six-
month survey period versus 23 hours for the top quartile.
For informal training, however, significant differences
across earnings quartiles are not observed.

Training by establishment characteristics

Establishment size.  Employees in small establishments (50-
99 employees) were less likely to have received formal
training than those in larger ones.  Some 62 percent of
those in small establishments received formal training in
the last 12 months, versus 73 percent of those in
establishments with 100-499 employees and 71 percent in
establishments with 500 or more employees. (See table 7.)
Hours of formal training per employee increased with size,
ranging from 8 hours for small establishments and 17 hours
for large ones (500 or more employees) between May and
October,1995.  There is no clear relationship between
establishment size and the hours of informal training per
employee.  (See table 8.)

Industry.  The amount of training received by employees
ranged from a low of 34 hours per employee in wholesale
trade to a high of 51 hours per employee in durable
manufacturing during the six-month survey period.
Industries varied in the extent to which they relied upon
formal training, with the proportion of total hours of
training spent in formal training spanning from a low of 12
percent for retail trade to a high of 59 percent for durable

Benefits.  Employees at establishments providing a greater
number of the selected benefits listed in our questionnaire
were more likely to have received formal training during the
last 12 months.  For instance, 77 percent of workers in
establishments with eight or more of the selected benefits
received formal training in the last 12 months, versus 57
percent in establishments with fewer than four of the
selected benefits.

Contract workers.  Employees in establishments that used
some contract workers were more likely to have received
formal training during the last 12 months than employees in
establishments that did not (77 percent versus 66 percent).
They also received more formal training during the six-month
survey period (19 hours per employee) than employees in
establishments that did not use contract workers (9 hours
per employee).

Employee Turnover.  A relatively small proportion of
employees in high-turnover establishments received formal
training in the last 12 months (61 percent compared with 75
percent for medium-turnover and 78 percent for low-turnover
establishments).  The amount of total training received by
employees over the May-October 1995 period does not vary
much on the basis of an establishment's turnover rate as
measured over the three months preceding the survey date.
However, workers at establishments with high rates of
turnover received less formal training than those with
medium or low levels.

Benefits employees received from training

     Among those employees who received formal training
while working for their current employer, about 14 percent
indicated that they received a promotion when the training
was satisfactorily completed or soon thereafter, and 19
percent received a higher rate of pay or bonus.  Less than
one percent of trained employees indicated that they
received no benefits from their formal training.  The most
commonly cited benefit was that employees "learned a
valuable skill that improved their job performance", chosen
by 78 percent of trainees.  (See table 9.)

How formal training is delivered

     Classes or workshops conducted by company training
personnel were the most common types of formal training
activities in which employees participated; 76 percent of
those receiving formal training reported this activity.
This activity was followed by "classes or workshops
conducted by outside trainers" and "attending lectures,
conferences or seminars" at 48 and 36 percent, respectively.
Only 17 percent of those who received formal training in the
last 12 months indicated that they had taken courses at
educational institutions.  (See table 10.)

Wage and salary costs of training by establishment

     The wages and salaries that employees receive while in
training represents an indirect cost to employers of
providing training, as the time that employees spend in
training is time that could have been spent working at their
jobs.  The value of that time can be estimated by
multiplying an employee's hourly wage by the hours he/she
spent in training.  This measure is referred to as the wage
and salary costs of training.  Over the May-October 1995
period, small establishments spent $462 per employee for
wage and salary costs, versus $654 for medium-sized
establishments and $754 for large ones.  The lower spending
levels of small establishments were primarily the result of
less spending on formal training.  Retail trade employers
spent the least per employee--$49 per employee as compared
with $149 for wholesale trade (the next lowest) and $418 for
mining (the highest).  (See table 11.)

     An estimated total of $37 billion was spent on the
indirect wage and salary costs of training during May-
October 1995.  Establishments with 100-499 employees
accounted for the largest share of the total ($16.7
billion), compared with $14.6 billion for establishments
with 500 or more employees and $5.7 billion for those with
50-99 employees.  The service industry spent the most on
training, $12.5 billion, primarily reflecting its large
share of employment.  Mining, with the smallest share of
employment, accounted for the least spending, about $306
million.  (See table 12.)

                       TECHNICAL NOTE

Scope of the survey

     The data presented in this release represent the
universe of employees in private establishments in the 50
states and the District of Columbia that had 50 or more
employees during the fourth quarter of 1993 and were
classifiable into one of the following 2-digit Standard
Industrial Classifications (SIC) based on the 1987 Standard
Industrial Classification Manual:

     Industry            SIC code

     Mining                   10, 12 - 14
     Construction             15 - 17
     Nondurable manufacturing 20 - 23, 26 - 31
     Durable manufacturing    24, 25, 32 - 39
     Transportation and
         public utilities          41, 42, 44 - 49
     Wholesale trade          50, 51
     Retail trade             52 - 59
     Finance, insurance, and
         real estate               60 - 65, 67
     Services            07, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78 - 84,
86, 87, 89.

Major definitions and concepts

     A broad view of training is adopted in the employee
portion of the 1995 Survey of Employer-Provided Training
(SEPT95).  A training activity may occur any time employees
are taught a skill or provided with information to help them
do their jobs better.  The skill or information may be
learned through formal or informal training methods.

Formal training is defined in the survey as training that is
planned in advance and has a structured format and defined
curriculum.  Examples include attending a class conducted by
an employee of the company, attending a seminar given by a
professional trainer, or watching a planned audio-visual

Informal training is unstructured, unplanned, and easily
adapted to situations or individuals.  Examples include
having a co-worker show you how to use a piece of equipment
or having a supervisor teach you a skill related to your

Job-skills training refers to training that upgrades
employee skills, extends employee skills, or qualifies
workers for a job.

Management training is training in supervising employees and
in implementing employment practices.  Examples include
training in conducting employee appraisals, managing
employees, resolving conflicts, following selection/hiring
practices, and implementing regulations and policies.

Professional and technical skills training is training in
professional areas such as engineering, nursing, accounting,
science, law, medicine, training, education, and business;
or in technical areas such as drafting, electronics, and
medical technology.

Computer procedures, programming, and software training
includes training in computer literacy, security,
programming, use of standard commercial and other software,
and methods for developing software applications.

Clerical and administrative support skills training is
training in areas such as typing, data entry, filing,
business correspondence, and administrative recordkeeping,
including budget and payroll.

Sales and customer relations training is training in areas
ranging from how to maintain or improve customer relations
to specific selling techniques.  Examples include training
in how to deal with angry customers and information about
specific product lines.

Service-related training includes training in the
traditional service occupations-food, cleaning, protective,
or personal services. Examples include training in waiting
tables, preparing food, using cleaning equipment, conducting
security work, providing care for children or the elderly,
tailoring, and barbering.

Production- and construction-related training is training in
areas such as operating or repairing machinery and
equipment; manufacturing, assembling, distributing,
installing, or inspecting goods; and constructing, altering,
or maintaining buildings and other structures.

General-skills training refers to training that is not
closely tied to specific job-related skills and/or training
that is usually provided to a wide range of workers.  It
includes:  basic skills; occupational safety; employee
health and wellness; orientation; awareness; and
communications, employee development, or quality training.

Basic skills training is training in elementary reading,
writing, arithmetic, and English language skills, including
English as a second language.

Occupational safety training provides information on safety
hazards, procedures, and regulations.

Employee health and wellness training provides information
and guidance on personal health issues such as stress
management, substance abuse, nutrition, and smoking

Orientation training introduces new employees to personnel
and workplace practices and to overall company policies.

Awareness training provides information on policies and
practices that affect employee relations or the work
environment, including Equal Employment Opportunity
practices (EEO), affirmative action, workplace diversity,
sexual harassment, and AIDS awareness.

Communications, employee development, and quality training
is training in public speaking, conducting meetings,
writing, time management, leadership, working in groups or
teams, employee involvement, total quality management, and
job reengineering.

An establishment is an economic unit which produces goods or
services.  It is usually at a single physical location and
is engaged predominantly in one type of economic activity.

The list of establishment benefits included:  Paid vacation,
paid sick leave, health-care plan, employee-assistance
program, employee-wellness program, pension plan, profit
sharing, flexible work schedules, flexible work site or
telecommuting, employer-financed child care, and paid
parental/family leave.

The list of establishment workplace practices included:  Pay
increases directly linked to mastering new skills, employee
involvement in technology and equipment decisions, job
redesign or reengineering, job rotation, just-in-time
inventories, co-worker review of employee performance,
quality circles, total quality management, and self-directed
work teams.

Labor turnover is measured by computing the ratio of hires
and separations in a three-month period to average
employment levels.

Employment change is measured by computing the ratio of
change over a three-month period to the average employment
over those three months.

Data collection procedures

     The employee component of SEPT95 was conducted in
tandem with the employer survey.  (For technical information
on the employer survey, see USDL#96-268.)  Two survey
instruments were utilized--an employee questionnaire and an
employee training log.  The employee questionnaire focused
on employment and demographic characteristics.  Questions
were included on job, employer and occupational tenure,
income, weeks and hours worked, education, sex, age, race
and ethnicity, marital status, and number of children.  In
addition, the employee questionnaire included general
questions on types of training provided by the employer
during the employee's tenure and in the last 12 months and
on the benefits of training.  The employee log collected
detailed information on all training and learning activities
the employee participated in over a 10-day period.  The
requested information on the activity included a
description, its duration, who was involved, and what type
of training medium was used.

     Experienced field economists in the BLS regional
offices requested permission from establishment
representatives to randomly sample and interview two
employees.  During the interview, field economists
administered the employee questionnaire to the respondent
using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).  The
field economist then collected the employee log via paper
and pencil for the three-day period prior to the day of the
interview and left behind a training log for the employee to
complete over the next seven days and mail back to the field

Sampling Procedures

     The sampling frame for the employee survey was a
listing (usually a payroll listing) of employees supplied by
the establishment respondent.  The total number of employees
on the listing was required to match that reported by the
establishment respondent.  Field economists used a computer-
generated random number program based on a simple random
selection method to randomly sample two employees from all
of the employees in the establishment.  If one or more of
the employees was unavailable, the field economists could
generate up to six random numbers to try to secure the
participation of two employees.  For the Employee
Questionnaire, each participating employee was assigned an
Employee Sampling Factor equal to the total number of
employees in the establishment divided by the number of
participating employees in that establishment.  For the
Employee Training Log, each participating employee was
assigned a Day Sampling Factor which was equal to the number
of days in the survey's reference period (184) divided by
the number of days (3 to 10) on the employee training log.


     Of the 1,543 establishments selected, 1,433 were
eligible for survey participation (excluding those out-of-
business or out-of-scope), and 1,062 participated in the
employer survey.  The desired employee sample size for the
employee survey was 2,866 (two employees from each of the 1,
433 eligible sampled establishments).  Usable employee
questionnaires were collected from 1,074 employees for a
response rate of 37.5 percent.  Usable employee logs were
collected from 1,013 employees for a response rate of 35.3
percent.  Using the 1,062 establishments that participated
in the employer survey as the eligible pool for employees,
the number of eligible employees changes to 2,214, and the
response rate changes to 50.6 percent for the employee
questionnaire and 47.7 percent for the employee log.


Missing data.  Weighting class non-response adjustment
procedures were used for each of the survey's instruments--
the employee questionnaire and the employee training log-and
account for the number of sampled establishments that did
not provide any data for the instrument or provided data for
only one employee.  For otherwise usable instruments, a hot-
deck procedure was used to impute a value for any item on
the instrument for which the establishment or employee could
not provide data.

Benchmarking.  To increase the precision of the estimates,
the weights of the usable instruments were adjusted to make
the weighted occupational distribution of the instruments
the same as the weighted occupational distribution in the
BLS Occupational Employment Survey.

Weighting.  Each of the usable employee instruments has a
Final Weight associated with it.  For the Employee
Questionnaires, the Final Weight is the product of the
Establishment Sampling Weight, Subsampling Factor, Employee
Sampling Factor, Questionnaire Nonresponse Adjustments, and
Questionnaire Benchmark Adjustment.  For the Employee
Training Log, the Final Weight is the product of the
Establishment Sampling Weight, Subsampling Factor, Employee
Sampling Factor, Day Sampling Factor, Log Nonresponse
Adjustments, and Log Benchmark Adjustment.  For technical
information on weighting for the employer survey, see news
release USDL#96-268.

Estimates.  For this release, the population total for a
variable of interest is estimated by summing, over all
usable instruments, the product of an instrument's Final
Weight and the instrument's value for the variable of
interest.  Proportions are estimated by dividing the
estimated total for the variable in the numerator by the
estimated population count.  Rates are estimated by dividing
the estimated total for the variable in the numerator by the
estimated total for the variable in the denominator.  For
subpopulation estimates, the summation is over only the
instruments that fall within the subpopulation.

Reliability of estimates

     The estimates in this release are based on a
probability sample rather than a census of the population.
The samples selected for the employer and employee survey
were one of many possible samples, each of which could have
produced different estimates that may have differed from the
results obtained from a census of the population.  This
"sampling error" or the variation in the sample estimates
across all possible samples that could have been selected is
measured by the standard error.  The standard error of each
of the estimates given in this release was calculated using
balanced repeated replication.

Non-sampling error and quality control measures

     In addition to sampling errors, estimates are subject
to non-sampling errors that can be attributed to many
sources:  definitional difficulties; differences in the
interpretation of questions; errors in recording, coding, or
processing the data, etc.  Several processes were used in
the survey to reduce the non-sampling errors.

Survey development.  The survey instruments were developed
and tested by BLS.  There were a number of major testing
activities involving the employee survey.  The employee
questionnaire and log was tested in four focus groups
involving 48 employees, 24 one-on-one in-depth interviews,
and 10 establishment site visits.  Final survey procedures
were tested in a 25-establishment field test of the
employer/employee survey conducted by BLS field economists.

Validation and review.  Survey participation was validated
for approximately 5 percent of establishments.  The
establishments contacted for the validation were randomly
selected and survey respondents were contacted by telephone
to verify participation in the employer and employee
components of the survey.  Since this was the first time
SEPT95 had been conducted, 100 percent of the individual and
summarized data were subject to professional review to
verify the accuracy and reasonableness of the data.  In
addition, edit checks were programmed into the CAPI system
used by the field economist and also were carried out on the
aggregate survey data.

     A detailed comparison was conducted of training-related
characteristics of establishments that did and did not give
us permission to interview employees.  The comparison
indicated that this source of nonresponse bias was not large
enough to substantially affect estimates.

     An analysis of estimates generated using only employees
that were selected with the first two random numbers (418
employees) and of estimates generated using employees
selected with the first through sixth random numbers (1,074
employees) demonstrated that using the larger sample to
generate estimates did not introduce significant bias into
the estimates but did significantly reduce the sampling
errors of the estimates.

Additional information

     BLS plans to issue a report that provides more detailed
information and analysis of SEPT95.  For further
information, please contact (202) 606-7386.