USA Today: Companies Slash Training, Add to Jobless Woes

Friday, 10 Aug 2012 09:30 AM

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Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process.

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 38 percent of companies said they cross-train employees to develop skills not directly related to their job, down from 43 percent in 2011 and 55 percent in 2008, USA Today reports.

Blame, in part, a 16 percent drop from five years ago in federal funding to help train unemployed workers for the unwillingness to help keep workers' skills up to date.

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

Employers "want people to hit the ground running," said Wharton School management professor Peter Cappelli, author of "Why Good People Can't Get Jobs," according to USA Today. "They don't want to train anybody."

Company training was common in the 1970s but first saw widespread cuts in the recession of the early 1980s.

Today, cost-cutting measures plus fears that employees will jump ship to a competitor are further making training programs unattractive.

Even amid times of high unemployment rates, companies are still finding it hard to fill positions, as many out-of-work job seekers don't harbor the right skills.

According to a recent survey by Right Management, 70 percent of companies ran into difficulties filling key positions in the past year, which keeps unemployment rates high, USA Today notes.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July from 8.2 percent in June.

The economy added a net 163,000 payrolls, according the report's surveys of companies, but households reported 195,000 fewer people were employed that month.

"It's marginally better on the balance. More importantly we have a drop in household employment, which is not such good news," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Connecticut, according to Reuters.

"Even with the better-than-expected payroll number, it's not sufficiently big enough to change the big-picture view. The economy is growing but not at a satisfactory rate to bring down unemployment."

Editor's Note: Prophetic Economist Warns: “It’s Curtains for America.” See Evidence.

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