Invest In People

Introduction

America needs to build a diverse, modern and world-class workforce across all sectors of the economy.

Over the next decade, the United States must invest in education and training to reduce the shortage of highly skilled workers. To further boost American competitiveness, we must reform our immigration system to ensure that the United States can attract top global talent.

Key Trends

Inadequate STEM education, inconsistent workforce training, and a broken immigration system mean that there is a shortage of skilled workers to fill the jobs needed to keep America at the forefront of 21st century innovation.

U.S. Students Behind in Math, Science, Reading

Singapore
1st
Hong Kong
2nd
Japan
3rd
Estonia
4th
Canada
5th
Finland
6th
Korea
7th
China
8th
Slovenia
9th
Ireland
10th
Germany
11th
Netherlands
12th
Switzerland
13th
New Zealand
14th
Norway
15th
Denmark
16th
Poland
17th
Belgium
18th
Australia
19th
Vietnam
20th
United Kingdom
21st
Portugal
22nd
Sweden
23rd
France
24th
Austria
25th
Russian Federation
26th
Spain
27th
Czech Republic
28th
U.S.
29th
U.S. Behind in Education: U.S. students rank 40th in math, 25th in science, 24th in reading, and 29th overall according to the Global Innovation Index and Composite PISA Test Rankings in Developed Countries.

A Qualified Worker Deficit

In 2016, there were 13 job openings for each available worker in STEM professions.

STEM Jobs in Search of Qualified Workers

“We can do a better job collaborating between parents, teachers, community colleges, vocational programs, in addition to two- and four-year degrees.”
Doug McMillon
Walmart, CEO

U.S. Falling Behind China

According to the Global Innovation Index, China ranks first in “Knowledge Workers,” while the United States is 13th.

Public Spending on Training in Decline

U.S. public spending on training as a share of GDP has fallen, placing America behind countries like Germany, Sweden, and Canada.

Impact of Immigration

Nearly half of U.S. scientists and engineers with a Ph.D. were foreign born as of 2015.

Policy Recommendations

America needs to build a diverse, modern and world-class workforce across all sectors of the economy. Below are our recommendations on how to achieve these goals.