Are Small Business Employees Trained For Their Jobs?

      On Feb. 27th I presented a paper titled “Small Business Training and Development: Analysis of Recipients, Types, Location and Incidence Levels Using SIPP Data” at the 35th Annual Eastern Economic Association Conference at the Sheraton New York in Manhattan.  The paper was based on an analysis of the latest training data released by the Census Bureau.

      An expected finding was that workers in small firms (<100) are much less likely than workers in large firms (100+) to receive training by any definition and measure used in Census’ 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).  However, there were several unexpected findings such as a decline in employer-provided formal training from 1996 to 2004: other research found an increase from 1984 to 1996.

      In addition, this paper discovered that women are more likely than men to receive training during the previous year.  One commentator suggested that many of the findings could be viewed through the lens of “dual labor market” theory.  The presentation also highlighted future slow labor force growth, due to a smaller pool of younger entry-level workers and an aging workforce.  This will challenge small firms who have tended to hire and train younger rather than older workers.

      Key aspects of the presentation can be found in Chapter 5, “Small Business Training and Development,” in the 2008 Small Business Economy located on the SBA’s Office of Advocacy’s website.


— Jules Lichtenstein, Senior Economist

  1. Barkri says

    Businesses need to train and develop their employees regularly as it will help improve employee work performance, provide them with skills necessary to deal with changing technologies, and equip them adequately to perform their duties and helping the company achieve its goals. This has become a problem though for many small businesses as they have to work on a small budget, cannot afford to have the employees away from work for several days to gather as work could come to a stand still. This is when online training programs come in handy.

  2. Michael says

    Huge point in the above comment with online training programs. The overall cost is not that expensive and can provide the need on the job training. I think most small business is affaid of this method due to lack of knowledge in technology.

  3. London Jobs says

    Small companies don’t really place too much importance on training their employees. They think it’s too time consuming and costly, but little do they know that training their employees will bring out more productivness and this results in better working. Overall training is a must, but with the current climate and credit crunch, businesses are seeking people who “have it all”.

  4. Cheney Lyon says

    The better small business employees are trained the easier that company will find it to be profitable.

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