About Us

The Project on Workforce is an interdisciplinary, collaborative project between the Harvard Kennedy School's Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the Harvard Business School Managing the Future of Work Project, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Technology is dramatically changing the structure of our economy and consequently, the types of jobs available for Americans and the types of skills needed.

Jobs requiring high levels of social interaction grew 12% between 1980 and 2012, while less social but math-intensive jobs shrunk 3.3% over the same period.

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The earnings gap between college and high school graduates has more than doubled over the past three decades.

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Machines today can complete 90% of the tasks that humans did in 1900.

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88% of workers say training and skills development throughout their work life will be important or essential.

Americans agree that upskilling and re-skilling are critical to the future of the country.

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71% of CEOs say that increasing skill requirements will be highly or somewhat significant to their businesses.

Our Mission

We aspire to chart the course for a post-secondary system of the future that creates more & better pathways to economic mobility; and, to catalyze action across leaders in business, education and policy to collectively address society's shared skills & employment needs.  

What We Do

  1. We produce basic and applied research at the intersection of education and labor markets for leaders in business, education, and policy. We aim to broaden the knowledge base of 'what works' for building the skills of the future.

  2. We disseminate and convene to close the gap between research and practice on worker training and workforce policies by making research actionable for users.

And yet, our system of training and education remains optimized for another era.

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Only 26% of working U.S. adults with college experience strongly agree that their education is relevant to their work.

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The U.S. spends just 0.1% of GDP on active labor market policies, ranking second-to-last in all of OECD.

Just 33% of Americans believe that the current generation of children will grow up to be better off than their parents.

Millions of Americans still lack clear pathways to sustained advancement in the labor market. Success cases exist in pockets, but lessons have been difficult to generalize and scale. We need to move the needle.