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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta  Series:Workforce Currents 

Discussion Paper
Promising Workforce Development Approaches

On November 9, 2018, at the New York Fed, three expert panels discussed promising approaches to investing in workforce development as part of the launch of the three-volume book Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers. Read highlights from the discussions below.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2019-02

Discussion Paper
Opportunity Occupations in the Southeast

Opportunity occupations—or opportunity employment—are jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and pay above a regionally adjusted median wage. This article takes a look at trends in the Southeast. For a deeper look at trends in opportunity occupations, see also "Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-Baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time."
Workforce Currents , Paper 2019-04

Discussion Paper
Reemploying the Unemployed

From March 14 to 28, roughly 9.9 million people (when seasonally adjusted) filed new claims for unemployment insurance across the country.1 That represents roughly 3 percent of the entire population of the United States actively filing for unemployment insurance in two weeks. In addition, the vast proportion of people who are eligible for unemployment insurance do not make a claim. During “normal” times, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 74 percent of unemployed workers do not file a claim, primarily because they think they are not eligible for unemployment insurance.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2020-03

Discussion Paper
Can Lessons from the Great Recession Guide Policy Responses to the Pandemic-Driven Economic Crisis?

In a 1948 speech to the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill warned, "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." As the U.S. economy struggles to reopen safely and recover, what are the lessons from the Great Recession that might help guide how policymakers respond to the pandemic-driven economic crisis?1 What should we expect over the coming months and years as the nation struggles to restore its economy, which before the pandemic had finally achieved historically low unemployment levels? In June 2020, there is much that we do not know or would even attempt to ...
Workforce Currents , Paper 2020-05

Discussion Paper
Policies to Close the Southern Skills Gap

Southern states have a number of economic and demographic characteristics that make them unique from the rest of the country—and increase the need to build skills to advance economic development in the region.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2018-05

Discussion Paper
Opportunity Occupations: Well-Paying Jobs for Middle-Skill Workers

Did you know that only 29.7 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have attained a four-year college degree? Given many policymakers' focus on increasing the share of individuals who attain a degree, that may sound like a surprisingly low number. It leaves a large group of American workers who do not have a four-year degree and lack the means or desire to obtain one in the current labor market. In fact, "middle-skill" Americans, defined as those who have obtained their high school diploma but not a four-year college degree, comprise some 57 percent of the country's total population of those ...
Workforce Currents , Paper 2017-02

Discussion Paper
Career Pathways in a Changing Labor Market

Recently, labor economists, workforce development policy analysts, and workforce development practitioners gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to examine the effects of automation and shifting labor demands on the future of work. Presenters included Dan Restuccia of Burning Glass Technologies, Sara Lamback of Jobs for the Future, Daniel Kreisman of Georgia State University, Chad Shearer of the Brookings Institution, Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute, and Nancey Green Leigh and Ben Kraft of Georgia Institute of Technology. The researchers collected data from job postings, ...
Workforce Currents , Paper 2018-01

Discussion Paper
Automation and the Future of Work

There are numerous reports that highlight potential effects that new technology will have on the U.S. labor market, and many of them are not exactly what you would expect. For example, with the advent of the internet and ubiquity of spreadsheets in the 1980s, analyst employment soared. The new technology unlocked latent demand for more analysis that had been simply too expensive before the new communication and productivity technologies became common. The need for more analysis led to more analysts…even though there were new technologies that made the work more efficient or productive.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2019-03

Discussion Paper
Hiring Difficulties across Industries and Location

In the current tight labor market with low levels of unemployment, it is not surprising that a large share of firms experience difficulty hiring candidates for open positions. However, much is unclear about the extent of these difficulties, their underlying reasons, and how firms respond. Using data from the Federal Reserve Banks' national 2017 Small Business Credit Survey, a recent paper examines the nature of firms' hiring difficulties and how they vary by industry and geographic location. The paper also explores how the reasons behind hiring difficulties relate to firms' responses. The ...
Workforce Currents , Paper 2018-04

Discussion Paper
Early Childhood Education and the Economy

A child's first few years provide a strong foundation for future development. Early childhood education programs can increase future labor force productivity, decrease societal costs, and ultimately lead to a stronger economy.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2019-01

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