ERIC Number: ED455392
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Mar-21
Are We Facing a "Literacy Surplus" in the Workforces of the United States and Canada? Research Note.
Sticht, Thomas G.
In the United States and Canada alike, expressions of concern over the fact that the demand for skilled workers far exceeds the current supply have been heard repeatedly. However, several studies would seem to indicate that, as familiar as these claims about the supply and demand for skilled workers may be, they are very contentious. If a Hudson Institute report is correct, 65%-75% of the new jobs in the fastest-growing occupations will require language and mathematics skills at or below the eighth-grade level. The findings of several recent studies, including a recent analysis of literacy requirements of jobs based on the National Adult Literacy Survey and new data from the U.S. Department of Labor, would seem to lend some measure of support to the possible existence of a literacy "surplus." In view of these data, it would seem that the arguments for increased funding for adult literacy programming should temper claims regarding the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace. For adult education policy, there would seem to be a need to emphasize the many benefits of adult education in addition to those related to improving one's job opportunities. More research and documentation of the other benefits of adult education is needed. (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Comparative Analysis, Educational Attainment, Educational Demand, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Educational Supply, Emerging Occupations, Employment Patterns, Employment Projections, Employment Qualifications, Foreign Countries, Job Skills, Labor Market, Labor Needs, Labor Supply, Literacy Education, National Surveys, Needs Assessment, Policy Formation, Research Needs, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Adult Literacy Survey (NCES)