Raising Job Quality and Skills for American Workers // What is Happening to America’s Less-Skilled Workers? // An Economic Strategy to Achieve Broadly Shared Growth

Raising Job Quality and Skills for American Workers: Creating More-Effective Education and Workforce Development Systems in the States

To improve the employment rates and earnings of Americans workers, we need to create more-coherent and more-effective education and workforce development systems, focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on disadvantaged youth and adults, and with education and training more clearly targeted towards firms and sectors that provide good-paying jobs. This paper proposes a new set of competitive grants from the federal government to states that would fund training partnerships between employers in key industries, education providers, workforce agencies, and intermediaries at the state level, plus a range of other supports and services. The grants would especially reward the expansion of programs that appear successful when evaluated with randomized controlled trial (RCT) techniques. The evidence suggests that these grants could generate benefits that are several times larger than their costs, including higher earnings and lower unemployment rates among the disadvantaged.

FULL REPORT – http://www.hamiltonproject.org/files/downloads_and_links/11_workforce_holzer_paper.pdf

What is Happening to America’s Less-Skilled Workers? The Importance of Education and Training in Today’s Economy

The labor market continued to expand at a modest pace last month, according to today’s employment report. Payroll employment increased by 120,000 jobs in November, and the fraction of Americans with a job ticked up. Including revisions to previous months, total employment was 192,000 higher in November. Private employment increased by 140,000 jobs last month while governments continued to shed jobs. While the unemployment rate jumped down to 8.6 percent, some of the reduction reflected lower labor force participation rather than increases in employment.

While overall job creation has improved slightly, many American workers continue to face serious difficulties in the labor market. These workers tend to have less formal education and/or fewer job-relevant skills. For less-educated workers, the Great Recession has only exacerbated a longer-term trend of diminished earnings and job opportunities.

In this month’s analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the employment and earnings trends facing America’s less-educated workers over the last few decades, and highlights training and workforce development opportunities that could be part of the policy solution. We also continue to explore the “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the 125,000 people who enter the labor force each month.


FULL REPORT – http://www.hamiltonproject.org/files/downloads_and_links/Dec_2011_JobBlog_FINAL.pdf

From Recession to Recovery to Renewal: An Economic Strategy to Achieve Broadly Shared Growth

U.S. Economic Growth, U.S. Economy, Growth through Innovation, Global Financial Crisis, U.S. Budget Deficit

Roger C. Altman, Chairman, Evercore Partners
Michael Greenstone, Director, The Hamilton Project and Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair, The Council on Foreign Relations and Former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Sarah Cannon, The Hamilton Project

The Hamilton Project

A defining feature of United States history is that each generation of Americans has enjoyed a higher standard of living and access to opportunities not available to their parents. This tradition is at risk because we are failing to make critical investments in human, physical, and environmental capital while the global economy is becoming increasingly competitive.

At the same time, the recession that began in 2007 has been one of the worst periods for American families since the Great Depression. Americans are living with the uniquely acute fears that are produced by economic insecurity. In this weak economic environment, much of government policy should be focused on the short and intermediate terms.

In this paper, The Hamilton Project argues that even in these difficult times it is vital that we begin to confront the challenges that pose a greater risk to our long-run prosperity than the Great Recession. Our perspective is that America’s future growth requires reprioritizing expenditures toward increasing workforce productivity, innovation and infrastructure, savings, and government effectiveness. However, the ability to make these investments is increasingly compromised by our difficult fiscal position. As part of this strategy to shift focus to long run prosperity, the United States should begin to confront the deficit as soon as the economic recovery has gained sufficient momentum.

Since 2006, The Hamilton Project has encouraged leading thinkers to put forward concrete policy proposals commensurate with the challenges of our time. The Project’s economic strategy reflects a judgment that long-term prosperity is best achieved by fostering economic growth and broad participation in that growth, by enhancing individual economic security, and by embracing a role for effective government in making needed public investments. This paper sets out an ambitious agenda for The Hamilton Project as we continue to develop and disseminate bold and innovative policy recommendations to promote broad-based growth.

FULL REPORT – http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2010/04_economic_recovery_greenstone/04_economic_recovery_greenstone.pdf

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.” – Dr. Martin L. King