OECD Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Report

According to a new International report released this week, low basic skills in literacy and numeracy are more common in the US than on average across participating countries. One in six adults in the US have low literacy skills and nearly one third have weak numeracy skills.  Adults in the US fared less well with “problem-solving in technology-rich environments” than the cross-country average.

These findings are from the much anticipated OECD Skills Outlook 2013 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Report released in Brussels today by OECD.  The Survey of Adult Skills is an international survey conducted in the US and 24 participating countries.  It measured the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper.

The report reads in part, “The technological revolution that began in the last decades of the 20th century has affected nearly every aspect of life in the 21st: from how we “talk” with our friends and loved ones, to how we shop, and how and where we work. Quicker and more efficient transportation and communication services have made it easier for people, goods, services and capital to move around the world, leading to the globalization of economies. These social and economic transformations have, in turn, changed the demand for skills as well. With manufacturing and certain low-skill tasks increasingly becoming automated, the need for routine cognitive and craft skills is declining, while the demand for information-processing and other high-level cognitive and interpersonal skills is growing.”

The entire report and a summary of the results can be downloaded at http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/publications.htm.