Horowitz: American Workers Taking Steps to Upgrade Skills
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The encouraging news is that Americans appear to be adapting to this ‘new normal.’ More than 6-in-10 American workers say that they have ‘taken steps to upgrade their skills and knowledge in the last 12 months, according to a recently releases national poll conducted by Pew Research Center. The predominant reason for seeking and getting job-related training was ‘to maintain or improve job skills."
As focus groups on the same topic revealed, the Great Recession with its accompanying major job loss and income reduction, brought home the need to sharpen and expand job skills. One mid-career professional from the Atlanta region expressed a widespread sentiment “I saw everything going on around me with co-workers, neighbors, friends and asked myself, “Who’s coming after me and my job? How long are my skills going to last?” …. I did some research that was pretty comforting, but I try to spend a little time every couple of months now reassessing my status.”
A millennial from the St Louis area in his first job expressed a similar idea: “My friends and I just assume that what we do now will be obsolete in the next decade. That’s our reality. You always have to keep learning and improving.”
Once engaged in learning new skills, workers are overwhelmingly positive about the experience. Nearly 2-out-of-3 say it expanded their professional network and nearly 1-in-2 say “their extra training helped them advance within their current company.” And more than 1-in-4 who participated in job training, say it enabled them to find a new job as their same company or with a different one.
Perhaps most telling, the intrinsic rewards of developing new knowledge and expanding one’s horizons seems nearly as important a pay off to the focus group respondents as the income and career advancement dividends. People truly enjoyed “learning for learning’s sake” which means they are more likely to continue the practice. These positive results are reinforced by the broader survey finding that nearly 3-in-4 Americans identify themselves as ‘lifelong learners.”
All this good news is tempered, however, by the fact that workers with less education and income are less likely to pursue additional training. For example, “72% of employed adults with at least college degrees have engaged in some sort of job-related training in the past year, as opposed to 49% of employed adults with high school degrees or less." Unfortunately, the people who could arguably benefit the most from more training are least likely to get it.
Still, the over-all trends are very positive and that’s good news for our economic future.
Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.
Related Slideshow: RI Business Rankings in US
See how Rhode Island stacked up.
Rhode Island has 2015's eighth highest insurance premium penalties for high risk drivers, according to a WalletHub report.
Rhode Island ranks fifth overall in the category of speeding over 20 mph annual premium increase at $482. While ranking third overall in the category of 2 accidents annual premium increase at $2,721.
Rhode Island ranks ninth overall under the reckless driving annual premium increase at $749.
Rhode Island has been ranked as the 8th most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub.
Rhode Island ranks third in environmental quality and 16th in Eco-Friendly Behaviors Ran landing them in 8th overall.
RI is behind Washington and New Hampshire who are in the six and seven spots respectively, and in front of Connecticut and Hawaii who come in at the nine and ten spot.
Rhode Island is 2015's 4th Worst State to be a taxpayer, according to a recent WalletHub report.
Rhode Island ranks 48th of 51 with an average state and local tax price of $7,159 which is good for a 27% difference from the national average.
The states that are directly behind Rhode Island are Wisconsin at $7,159, Nebraska at $7,298 and Illinois at $7,719 for a 37% difference from the national average.
Rhode Island has the highest vehicle property taxes in the country, paying an average of $1,133 according to a report from WalletHub.
Virginia and Kansas are the two states just ahead of Rhode Island in the 49 and 50 spots, paying $962 and $905 respectively.
RI also ranks 42nd in average real estate tax, paying an average of $2,779, according to the WalletHub report.
WalletHub has ranked Rhode Island as the 7th worst state to be rich in in a recent in depth analysis of 2015's Best States to be Rich or Poor From a Tax Perspective.
On a scale with 1 being the best, and 25 being average, Rhode Island ranks 37th in low income earners, 42 in middle income earners and 45th in high income earners.
To see the full report, click here.
Providence-metro ranks at the bottom for job creation in 2014
Rhode Island has been ranked amongst the worst in job creation, according to a recent survey done by Gallup.
Gallup gives the Prov-metro area an index score of 23, the lowest score is the New York- New Jersey area with 20.
Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin-round Rock, Texas rank the highest with a score of 37.
The 2014 state rankings by Forbes has just been released and Rhode Island moved up two spots from #48 in 2013 to #46 in 2014.
What does Forbes say about RI's business environment"
After Michigan and Illinois, Rhode Island has experienced the third worst net migration out of its state in the country over the past five years. With a recent unemployment rate of 7.6%—lower than only Georgia and Mississippi—residents are leaving the state in search of jobs. Rhode Island has been stuck in the bottom five overall for six straight years. One plus: labor costs are 5% below the national average, which stands out in the expensive Northeast.
Findings from The State Business Tax Climate Index were released this morning by Tax Foundation which found Rhode Island to have the 45th best tax climate for businesses for 2015. The state's rank has not changed since last year after The Index analyzed 100 different tax variables in multiple categories.
After conducting an online suvery consisting of 1,050 individuals from both parties across the nation, WalletHub ranked Rhode Island as having America's 33rd fairest tax system.
Providence is the second worst city in America for small business, according to a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation.
More than 12,000 small businesses in 82 cities across the country participate in the survey. Providence received an overall "F" grade for small business friendliness.
Small Business Friendliness Grade: F
The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Rhode Island is one of just 6 states to earn an "F" grade.
Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America.
CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate as of May 2014 was 8.2 percent. This is RI's lowest unemployment rate since August 2008.
Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects. RI is third worst in 2013.
The most damning in the commentary:
After Michigan, Rhode Island has experienced the second worst net migration in the country over the past five years.
ChiefExecutive.net ranks each state in taxations and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment.
The most damning in the commentary:
Sky-high unemployment rate bespeaks continuing terrible business climate.
#46 Tax Foundation
Tax Foundation ranks each state in corporate tax rank, sales tax rank, and unemployment insurance tax rank.
Rhode Island and the other states in the bottom ten suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.
#24 Wallet Hub
Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.
Rhode Island ranked #50 for worst roads and bridges, but ranked #4 in safety.
ALEC ranks each state in economic performance and outlook.
Although Rhode Island ranked low in economic performance, a forward-looking forecast is based on the state’s standing in 15 important state policy variables. Some of these variables include top marginal personal income tax rate and sales tax burden.
#50 Kauffman Foundation
Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states
and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.
#47 Free Enterprise
Free Enterprise ranks each state in performance, exports, innovation + entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline, infrastructure.
Rhode Island has continued to feel the direct impact and ripples from the recent recession—it ranks 47th overall in economic performance. However, positive rankings of 15th in talent pipeline and 16th in innovation and entrepreneurship suggest the existence of a foundation on which to build the future.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
#40 The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts ranks each state in job growth and job creation.
Rhode Island added 6,223 jobs in 2014.
10th Worst in Gallup's Annual Ranking of State Job Markets 2014
Rhode Island has been ranked 10th worst for job creation in Gallup's annual ranking of state job markets in 2014 with a job creation index number of 21
Rhode Island is one of two (Connecticut) states to rank in the bottom ten each year since 2008.
The 2014 State level findings have were drawn from 201,254 interviews with employed adults across the nation.
- Horowitz: One Ugly Week on the Home-Front
- Horowitz: Paris Shakes Up Presidential Race
- Horowitz: Progress on the Climate in Paris
- Horowitz: Obama’s Sunday Night Speech; A Good Beginning
- Horowitz: Paris Climate Agreement Puts the World on the Right Path
- Horowitz: National Polling Misused to Eliminate Candidates from Tonight’s Debate
- Horowitz: Trump’s Ugly Nativism Runs Counter to Most Americans’ Views
- Horowitz: Another Public Mass Shooting - It’s Time to Do More Than Nothing
- Horowitz: 5 Things to Watch For At Tonight’s Democratic Presidential Debate
- Horowitz: It’s Time for Chafee to Get Serious or Get Out
- Horowitz: It’s Essential to Make Contraception Readily Available
- Horowitz: Speaker Ryan is Off to a Great Start
- Horowitz: 5 Reasons for New Year’s Optimism
- Horowitz: Jeb Bush - A Class Act Leaves the Race
- Horowitz: Scalia’s Death Ripples Through Presidential Race
- Horowitz: Trump’s Refusal to Criticize Duke & KKK Part of a Disturbing Pattern
- Horowitz: Romney’s Trump Take-Down is Having an Impact
- Horowitz: Trump’s Failure to Accept Any Responsibility Disqualifies Him
- Horowitz: New Hampshire Primary Preview
- Horowitz: Raimondo is Putting Rhode Island on the Right Economic Path
- Horowitz: Obama Moving on Gun Safety the Only Way He Can
- Horowitz: A Welcome Discussion - Republican Presidential Candidates Poverty Forum
- Horowitz: John Kerry - A Consequential Secretary of State
- Horowitz: President Bloomberg; Stranger Things Have Happened
- Horowitz: Obama Visit Puts Exclamation Point on New Era for US-Cuba Relations