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If you want to find information on skills and educational attainment, ETA’s guide to the relevant sources will allow you to shed light on labor or skill shortages, skill mismatches, and skill deficiencies.  Skimming for Skills provides links to surveys, reports and customized data tools.

Each entry notes whether the survey or source supplies information on current or projected employment, job openings, occupational or industry data, and earnings.  Skill-related topics include information on the education, training or skills required for jobs; educational attainment; educational field (e.g., college major) or coursework; and the skills individuals possess, including skill assessments.  For sources that collect information on educational credentials, a detailed definition is provided.  Each entry also lists availability at the national, state or local level, and the time period covered.

Due to public interest in possible skill shortages and mismatches, the guide is organized to enable users to ascertain whether each source contains supply and demand information.  More than three dozen sources are included, encompassing the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Labor and Education Departments, real-time data private sector sources, and two important studies of the skills of postsecondary students. 

For the user’s convenience, the numerous skill-related sources are classified by those pertaining to adults, postsecondary students, secondary students, and longitudinal surveys that span ages from student to adult.  The guide concludes with a list of supplementary resources for understanding occupational, industry and instructional classification codes; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classifications; and other sources on state and local workforce data and how to use it.


For selected national educational attainment and employment data, see ETA’s We’ve Got Your Number(s) — Key Workforce Trends.  For research on skills issues, see ETA’s Skill Shortage, Mismatch and Deficiency Repository. For overviews of several of the most important sources on skills, see our new High School Test Scores in 8 Subjects, High School Coursework Over 3 Decades and NOT Hitting the Books — Limited Homework and Studying Time in High School and College.


Unemployment Rates 1890-2012

Unemployment Rates 1890-2012