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Below Expectations: Employers Not Meeting Training Expectations of Workers


While 80% of employed U.S. adults consider an employer’s professional development and training offerings an important consideration when accepting a new job, just 39% say their current employer is helping them improve their current skills or gain new skills to do their job better, according to results from the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll in late October and early November 2021.

Job training programs put employers at a competitive advantage when recruiting job candidates from all generations. Among those employed, 84% of Millennials view an employer’s professional development and training offerings as important considerations when accepting a new job, along with 79% of Baby Boomers and 79% of Generation X. Seven in 10 of those in Generation Z (70%) share this view.

Meanwhile, many employees said they were not receiving from their employers the skills training needed to maintain or grow their careers. Just 31% of Baby Boomers said their employer is helping them improve or expand their skillset, compared with 50% of Millennials, and 33% of those in Generation X. Of Generation Z employees, who comprise the newest members of the workforce, just 37% said their employer was helping them improve or expand their skills to do their job better.

“For employers looking for an edge in 2022, investing in training and development could make the difference in competing in the war for talent,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer at the American Staffing Association. “Employees are looking to employers to provide the job training they need to elevate their careers. During the Great Resignation, if an employer is not willing to train and upskill its workforce, those employees may begin to look for an employer that will.”

The study also found concern among some U.S. workers about the effects of automation on their employability, with 37% worrying that automation will cost them their jobs. Nearly half of Hispanic/Latino employees (49%) worry that automation will eliminate their jobs, compared with 35% of Black/African-American employees and 33% of White/Caucasian employees.

In addition, 52% of Millennial workers expressed worry about their job security due to automation, compared with 40% of Generation Z employees, 30% of Generation X employees, and just 20% of Baby Boomer employees.

“The acceleration of automation due to the pandemic has only increased the importance of employer investments in workforce training and development,” added Wahlquist.


This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASA between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, 2021, among a total of 2,042 U.S. adults age 18 and older of whom 1,054 were employed. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and size of household where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


About the American Staffing Association (ASA)

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

About the ASA Workforce Monitor

The ASA Workforce Monitor is a periodic survey commissioned by ASA and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,000 or more U.S. adults age 18 and older. The survey series focuses on current workforce trends and issues. For more information about the survey series, visit

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S., tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963. It is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. They work with clients in three primary areas: building 21st century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Their mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. Learn more by visiting and follow Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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