A Future of Good Jobs?: America's Challenge in the Global by Editors Timothy J. Bartik and Susan N. Houseman, Timothy J.

By Editors Timothy J. Bartik and Susan N. Houseman, Timothy J. Bartik, Susan N. Houseman

Can the U.S. financial system generate fit progress of excellent jobs -- jobs that might ascertain a gradual development within the lifestyle for the center category and that may provide a manner out of poverty for low-income american citizens? during this well timed new quantity, top coverage analysts study the demanding situations dealing with U.S. exertions industry coverage and suggest concrete steps to make American employees and employers extra aggressive in a world financial system.

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Indb 36 2/29/2008 1:42:03 PM Are Skills the Problem? 37 agers do not receive a formal, recognized certification documenting this mix of skills. Instead, many jobs involve on-the-job training with little or no certification. In this context, it is not surprising that statistical agencies do little to measure and researchers do little to analyze occupational certification. Contrast this pattern with the qualification systems of other advanced economies. As a National Research Council panel pointed out (Hansen 1994), several countries have national standards for work-related skills and certify those skills through training that qualifies workers for a particular occupation.

People often learn in order to satisfy their curiosity or to gain a sense of accomplishment. indb 24 2/29/2008 1:42:02 PM Are Skills the Problem? 25 conveys a sense of pride, and the effective use of skills in an occupation often brings workers a sense of identity. Skills rarely raise productivity in isolation; increases in productivity typically result when workers use their skills to complement the work of others in an appropriate setting within the organization (Brown 2001). The framework provided by human capital offers little guidance as to which general, specific, or occupational skills are valuable in any given labor market.

Since workers gain the benefits from investments in general skills, firms are unlikely to fund the education and training that generates the skills. In contrast, some of the returns to firm-specific skills will be captured by the employer. indb 23 2/29/2008 1:42:02 PM 24 Lerman lowering the costs of turnover and recruitment. In this case, firms may finance and reap some of the benefits from training. The language of human capital has entered the lexicon of policymakers and professionals throughout the world.

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