Retraining Programs Fall Short for Some Workers

The Trump administration is looking into ways to help workers, but experts say the retraining problem is hard to fix.

The key program is Trade Adjustment Assistance, installed in the 1960s, which provides extended unemployment benefit payments and job training to workers who the government determines lost employment due to overseas competition. Multiple studies have shown that many workers leave the program earning less than they did at their old jobs, and many fail to quickly find jobs.

On average, workers earned 81.3% of the wages they received in their old jobs three to six month after exiting the program known as TAA, according to the Labor Department’s most recent assessment of the program, and more than a quarter of the 16,375 workers who left the program in fiscal year 2017 failed to find new jobs within six months of completing retraining.

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