Science & Tech

One in three Massachusetts workers ill-equipped to meet demands

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National Center for Adult Literacy researchers argue that 1 in 3 Massachusetts workers will sink in the new economy

The most startling finding of a new report is that 667,000 of 1.1 million at-risk workers in Massachusetts have earned a high school credential but still lack basic math, reading, writing, language, and analytic skills at the level considered acceptable for the typical 21st century workplace. This one group represents 20 percent of the state’s workforce, thus posing a significant “New Literacy Challenge” for the Commonwealth. More than a third (1.1 million) of Massachusetts’s 3.2 million workers are ill-equipped to meet the demands of the state’s rapidly changing economy. This threatens the state’s ability to sustain the current economic boom and traps the workers themselves in jobs with little opportunity to advance, according to the new study.