The skills of amrican workforce

The Study
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The Commission staff began the research on which the Commission itself relied 18 months before the first meeting of the Commission and continued the research right up to the last meeting. Each sub-study is briefly described below, and the associated papers listed. In most cases, those papers prepared by our staff and the papers commissioned from others are available on the Commission Web site. Extensive field work was required to complete these studies. A list of the nations visited and organizations visited is also included below. All but one of the Background Papers in the report itself were prepared by the staff. The financial analysis of the Commission’s recommendations was prepared by Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA) of Denver, Colorado. The authors of that study were Robert Palaich, John Augenblick, John Myers, Douglas Rose, Amy Anderson, Justin Silverstein, and Amanda Brown.

In most cases, those papers prepared by our staff and the papers commissioned from others are available on the Commission Web site. Extensive field work was required to complete these studies.

ECONOMICS AND LABOR MARKET STUDY

This study focused on the flows of the international economy as they affect the prospects for economic growth in this country, with particular attention to the effects on employment and income of advancing technology and the rise of countries that can offer high skills at low wages. The study addressed eight areas, in the following sequence:

  • Estimated the contributions of education and innovation (such as patents, R&D spending) to U.S. and global economic growth
  • Analyzed the relationship between education and access to middle-class status since 1967 and projected to 2012
  • Projected the supply and demand for education in the United States to 2012
  • Analyzed the relationship between educational attainment and occupational competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, work styles, work contexts, values, and interests) based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*Net) data
  • Measured educational adequacy against criteria that included employability and middle-class jobs
  • Estimated the vulnerability of U.S. jobs to offshoring based on the characteristics of the jobs and the skills of current job holders, as reported in O*Net
  • Estimated the stock and growth of the global supply of educated workers

A report, America in the Global Economy, by Ray Uhalde and Jeffrey Strohl, is available on the Commission’s Web site.

INDUSTRY STUDIES

We examined eight industries to understand the forces operating on these industries to produce new winners and new losers with respect to companies, countries, and workers; the prospects for growth and decline for these industries and the specific factors affecting those prospects; and the way in which the availability of workers with specific skills in this country and abroad affects investment and location decisions in these industries. A paper edited by Mark Troppe and Peter Carlson, An Analysis of Market and Skill Changes in Select Industries, 2006, is available on the Commission Web site synthesizing the Industry Study findings as a whole and the findings in each industry including:

  • Biotechnology
  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications
  • Textiles and Apparel
  • Entertainment
  • Health Care
  • Personal Computers
  • Software
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