Businesses: $130 Billion In L&D for Employees

According to the American Society for Training & Development’s 2009 “State of the Industry Report,” employee learning and development withstood the challenges of the difficult economy in 2008 with U.S. organizations spending $134.07 billion or an average of $1,068 per employee.

Despite the worst economic conditions in several decades, business leaders continued to allocate substantial resources to the learning functions in their organizations. While spending was reduced slightly in 2008 — the average expenditure per employee of $1,068 was down 3.8 percent from the 2007 level of $1,110 — learning professionals took on more responsibility, increasing the number of employees to whom they were responsible and looking for ways to operate efficiently. Employees accessed an average of 36.3 hours of formal learning content, slightly down (2.9%) from 2007’s 37.4 hours, but still representing a meaningful amount of resources allocated to each employee for workplace learning and performance.

More key findings from the report:

>> $88.59 billion was spent on the internal learning function in U.S. organizations.

>> $45.48 billion was allocated to external services in U.S. organizations.

>> Learning expenditures as a percentage of payroll increased in 2008 to 2.24 percent, up from 2.15 percent in 2007.

>> Percent of the learning budget allocated to external services was 22.0 percent, down from 25.2 percent in 2007, and continuing a downward trend that began in 2004.

>> The average number of employees per learning staff member was 253 in 2008, up from 227 the previous year.

>> The average cost per learning hour used decreased 7.1 percent, from $56 in 2007 to $52 in 2008, which means learning professionals were operating efficiently and managing learning content without incurring additional overhead.

The 2009 State of the Industry Report shows that despite tough economic times learning professionals adapted and continued to deliver, even increasing the number of formal learning opportunities despite having fewer resources. It also reveals a commitment on the part of business leaders who understand that an ongoing financial and operational commitment is required to leverage human capital to its fullest.

To read the full report, go to www.astd.org.

According to the American Society for Training & Development’s 2009 “State of the Industry Report,” employee learning and development withstood the challenges of the difficult economy in 2008 with U.S. organizations spending $134.07 billion or an average of $1,068 per employee.

Despite the worst economic conditions in several decades, business leaders continued to allocate substantial resources to the learning functions in their organizations. While spending was reduced slightly in 2008 — the average expenditure per employee of $1,068 was down 3.8 percent from the 2007 level of $1,110 — learning professionals took on more responsibility, increasing the number of employees to whom they were responsible and looking for ways to operate efficiently. Employees accessed an average of 36.3 hours of formal learning content, slightly down (2.9%) from 2007’s 37.4 hours, but still representing a meaningful amount of resources allocated to each employee for workplace learning and performance.

More key findings from the report:

>> $88.59 billion was spent on the internal learning function in U.S. organizations.

>> $45.48 billion was allocated to external services in U.S. organizations.

>> Learning expenditures as a percentage of payroll increased in 2008 to 2.24 percent, up from 2.15 percent in 2007.

>> Percent of the learning budget allocated to external services was 22.0 percent, down from 25.2 percent in 2007, and continuing a downward trend that began in 2004.

>> The average number of employees per learning staff member was 253 in 2008, up from 227 the previous year.

>> The average cost per learning hour used decreased 7.1 percent, from $56 in 2007 to $52 in 2008, which means learning professionals were operating efficiently and managing learning content without incurring additional overhead.

The 2009 State of the Industry Report shows that despite tough economic times learning professionals adapted and continued to deliver, even increasing the number of formal learning opportunities despite having fewer resources. It also reveals a commitment on the part of business leaders who understand that an ongoing financial and operational commitment is required to leverage human capital to its fullest.

To read the full report, go to www.astd.org.

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