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U.S. Faces Uphill Battle in Retraining the Jobless

Wall Street Journal (08/01/12) Ianthe Jeanne Dugan; Justin Scheck

The federal government has spent approximately $18 billion on training and job-search programs as part of its economic-recovery plan. However, the government has not done a good job tracking job placement. Furthermore, the government has a mixed record predicting which jobs will need workers. Federal agencies tend to haphazardly allocate cash to programs without ensuring people will be trained for growing fields, says Harvard University professor Lawrence Katz.

A U.S. Department of Labor survey found that only 38% of people found a job in the field in which they were trained. That said, about 80% of the people who received nursing training found nursing jobs, and about 60% of people who received training in construction found construction jobs.