Earnings Gains of Displaced Workers in Technical Fields versus Other Fields
November 30, 2011
A new study finds that displaced workers in Washington state earned approximately $1,390 (or 4.4 percent) more per year after retraining. But the impacts varied substantially depending on the field of study. Workers who obtained one academic year of retraining in more technical fields saw greater gains—more than $3,000 per year—with the gains for women who engaged in technical retraining being even higher. Looking at the long-term earnings impact of technical retraining for the average worker (age 40), the present discounted value of this skills boost was about $60,000. In contrast, workers who retrained in other, less technical fields experienced smaller gains on average, earning only about $1,000 more per year.