The chart below, which shows a decline in employer-provided and on-the-job training in recent decades, has been making the rounds in the economic blogs.
It comes from the 2015 Economic Report of the President (page 147), which is prepared annually by the President's Council of Economic Advisers for Congress.
This data is collected only occasionally by the U.S. Census, which explains why the latest data is from 2008. But given the Great Recession, it seems pretty unlikely that employer-provided and on-the-job training have done anything but decline since 2008.
We believe the decline in employee training is having an interesting 2nd order effect - we think it's leading to more people having 2nd jobs.
In our most recent survey of people with 2nd jobs, about 20% of these "side giggers" said "learning new skills" was the reason they had a 2nd job.
Follow-up interviews confirmed this with many of the interviewees saying they weren't getting training from their primary employer and felt they needed to do side jobs to learn the skills required for career advancement.
We don't have historical survey data on this. But out interviews from a decade ago shows a much smaller percentage of side giggers citing this reason.
This is another example of risk being shifted from institutions to individuals. In this case companies are shifting the risks and costs associated with job training to individuals.
The risk shift is one of the the most important and impactful societal trends we follow. It's also one of the least covered and discussed.
We'll have more data on this topic later this year.