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ERIC Number: ED536492
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Trends in the Higher Education Labor Force: Identifying Changes in Worker Composition and Productivity
Bennett, Daniel L.
Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1)
Higher education is a labor-intensive industry whose primary service, instruction, is delivered by a lecturer, accompanied by administrative support and various other services. Growing student enrollment necessitates some additional staffing; however, one would think that the recent and ongoing technological boom would have lessened the labor burden at colleges, but a close examination of the data suggests otherwise. In fact, the data reveals that colleges have generally increased their staff relative to enrollment and the number of degrees awarded, especially in the back office. This report will analyze employment trends and labor productivity at institutions of higher education over the past 20 years. The author finds that colleges have altered the composition of their work force by steadily increasing the number of managerial positions and support/service staff, while at the same time disproportionately increasing the number of part-time staff that provides instruction. Meanwhile, employee productivity relative to enrollment and degrees awarded has been relatively flat in the midst of rising compensation. Appended are: (1) Glossary; and (2) Definition of Job Categories. (Contains 29 figures, 1 table, and 11 footnotes.)
Center for College Affordability and Productivity. 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Suite L 26, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-621-0536; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP)