Worker Skill Acquisition Over Past Five Years [Chart of the Week]

Each Saturday, #we publish our Chart of the Week. It presents interesting trends and data, usually related to the U.S. labor market.

Worker Skill Acquisition Over Past Five Years

This blog post is a perfect example of how bloggers need to have a “content creation mindset” that is always on the lookout for content. I’ve been traveling all week and grabbed a copy of the USA Today newspaper on my way down to the hotel lobby to check out. In the elevator I noticed some figures on the front page depicting how and where workers have achieved their skill acquisition over the past five years. The data comes from a 2011 survey of more than 1,000 professionals by Accenture.

The article chronicles how companies have put themselves into a bind through drastic cutbacks in employee training over the past 30 years. They complain that they can’t find qualified employees but don’t want to invest in training because they fear they’ll leave.

The cutbacks coincide with a 16% drop in federal funding this fiscal year to train unemployed workers vs. five years ago. As a result, the onus to enhance skills falls on financially strapped workers themselves. The jobless rate last month ticked up to 8.3% from 8.2%.

Thirty-eight percent of companies said they cross-train employees to develop skills not directly related to their job, according to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). That’s down from 43% in 2011 and 55% in 2008, past SHRM surveys showed.

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