ERIC Number: ED454381
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Reference Count: N/A
Trends in Direct Measures of Job Skill Requirements. Working Paper No. 301.
Handel, Michael J.
Assumptions have been made that jobs in the United States require ever-greater levels of skill and that this trend is accelerating as a result of the diffusion of information technology. These assumptions have led to substantial concern over the possibility of a growing mismatch between the skills workers possess and the skills employers demand, reflected in debates over the need for education reform and the causes of the growth in earnings inequality. However, efforts to measure trends have been hampered by the lack of direct measures of job skill requirements. A study used previously unexamined measures from the Quality of Employment Surveys and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine trends in job education and training requirements and provide a validation tool for skill measures in the "Dictionary of Occupational Titles." Results indicate that job skill requirements have increased steadily over the 1970s-1990s but that there has been no acceleration in recent years that might explain the growth in earnings inequality. There is also no dramatic change in the number of workers who are undereducated. These results reinforce the conclusions of earlier work that reports of a growing skills mismatch are exaggerated and that the recent growth in the U.S. wage inequality may not be a result of a skills shortage. (Appendixes contain 9 tables, 15 graphs, and 22 references.) (Author/KC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adults, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational Needs, Employment Patterns, Employment Projections, Employment Qualifications, Job Performance, Job Skills, Job Training, Salary Wage Differentials, Skill Development, Wages
For full text: http://www.levy.org/docs/wrkpap/papers/301.html or http://www.levy.org/docs/wrkpap/pdf/301.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bard Coll., Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Jerome Levy Economics Inst.