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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Economy and the Workforce


What is the most accurate and useful way to measure national poverty levels? What options does the U.S. government have for balancing the federal budget? And how can we educate people in ways that help them become versatile and innovative thinkers? Research in economics, education, and the social sciences can help answer questions such as these and aid decision-makers in shaping fiscal and economic policies and preparing a competitive work force.  See also:


Workforce Development and Intelligence Analysis for National Security PurposesProceedings of a Workshop  (BBCSS)

Beginning in October 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a set of workshops designed to gather information for the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral... Read more

Data Science for UndergraduatesOpportunities and Options  (CSTB,BMSA,CATS,BOSE)

Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and... Read more

The Human Factors of Process Safety and Worker Empowerment in the Offshore Oil IndustryProceedings of a Workshop  (BOHSI)

Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill, efforts to improve safety in the offshore oil industry have resulted in the adoption of new technological controls, increased promotion of... Read more

A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century  (BANR,CNSTAT,HSP)

The workplace is where 156 million working adults in the United States spend many waking hours, and it has a profound influence on health and well-being. Although some occupations and work-related... Read more

Measuring the 21st Century Science and Engineering Workforce PopulationEvolving Needs  (CNSTAT)

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), one of the nation’s principal statistical agencies, is charged to collect, acquire, analyze, report,... Read more

Training the Future Child Health Care Workforce to Improve the Behavioral Health of Children, Youth, and FamiliesProceedings of a Workshop  (BOCYF)

Increasing numbers of evidence-based interventions have proven effective in preventing and treating behavioral disorders in children. However, the adoption of these interventions in the health care... Read more

Improving Crop Estimates by Integrating Multiple Data Sources  (CNSTAT)

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the primary statistical data collection agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NASS conducts hundreds of surveys each year and... Read more

Supporting Students' College SuccessThe Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies  (BOTA)

The importance of higher education has never been clearer. Educational attainment—the number of years a person spends in school—strongly predicts adult earnings, as well as health and civic... Read more

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration  (CNSTAT)

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration finds that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small, and that any negative... Read more

Building America's Skilled Technical Workforce  (STEP,BHEW,BOSE)

Skilled technical occupations—defined as occupations that require a high level of knowledge in a technical domain but do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry—are a key component of the U.S.... Read more

Training the Future Child Health Care Workforce to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes for Children, Youth, and FamiliesProceedings of a Workshop--in Brief  (BOCYF)

Childhood diagnoses of cognitive, affective, and behavioral disorders are increasing in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total childhood population in the United States, and they are... Read more

Personnel Selection in the Pattern Evidence Domain of Forensic ScienceProceedings of a Workshop  (BOHSI)

In July 2016 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop with the goal of bringing together industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists, experts on... Read more

Advancing Concepts and Models for Measuring InnovationProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Because of the role of innovation as a driver of economic productivity and growth and as a mechanism for improving people's well-being in other ways, understanding the nature,determinants, and impacts... Read more

Exploring the Development of a U.S. Department of Labor Research Strategy on Child Labor and Forced Labor in International SettingsProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (BGH,BOCYF)

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 168 million children are affected by child labor worldwide, with a predominance of child labor occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and... Read more

Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families  (BOCYF)

In recent years, the U.S. federal government has invested approximately $463 billion annually in interventions that affect the overall health and well-being of children and youth, while state and... Read more

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society  (CPOP)

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their... Read more

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM DegreesSystemic Change to Support Students' Diverse Pathways  (BOSE,BHEW)

Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the... Read more

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8A Unifying Foundation  (BOCYF)

Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the... Read more

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit SectorConceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation is responsible for national reporting of the research and development (R&D) activities that occur in... Read more

Civic Engagement and Social CohesionMeasuring Dimensions of Social Capital to Inform Policy  (CNSTAT)

People's bonds, associations and networks - as well as the civil, political, and institutional characteristics of the society in which they live - can be powerful drivers affecting the quality of life... Read more

Subjective Well-BeingMeasuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience  (CNSTAT)

Subjective well-being refers to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives. This information has already proven valuable to researchers, who have... Read more

Assessment of Staffing Needs of Systems Specialists in Aviation  (BOHSI)

Within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Airway Transportation System Specialists ATSS) maintain and certify the equipment in the National Airspace System (NAS).In fiscal year 2012,... Read more

Improving Self-Escape from Underground Coal Mines  (BOHSI)

Coal mine disasters in the United States are relatively rare events; many of the roughly 50,000 miners underground will never have to evacuate a mine in an emergency during their careers. However, for... Read more

Collecting Compensation Data from Employers  (CNSTAT)

U.S. agencies with responsibilities for enforcing equal employment opportunity laws have long relied on detailed information that is obtained from employers on employment in job groups by gender and... Read more

Education for Life and WorkDeveloping Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century  (BOTA)

Americans have long recognized that investments in public education contribute to the common good, enhancing national prosperity and supporting stable families, neighborhoods, and communities.... Read more

Measuring What We SpendToward a New Consumer Expenditure Survey  (CNSTAT)

The Consumer Expenditure (CE) surveys are the only source of information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes in the United States, as well as the characteristics of those... Read more

Aging and the MacroeconomyLong-Term Implications of an Older Population  (BMSTA,BMSA,CPOP)

The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. In the coming decades, people aged 65 and over will make up an increasingly large percentage of the population: The ratio of people aged... Read more

Improving Adult Literacy InstructionOptions for Practice and Research  

A high level of literacy in both print and digital media is required for negotiating most aspects of 21st-century life, including supporting a family, education, health, civic participation, and... Read more

Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education LandscapeSummary of a Summit  (BOSE,BLS,BHEW)

The National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have released a new report, Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit. Based on a... Read more

Budgeting for Immigration EnforcementA Path to Better Performance  (CLAJ)

Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread... Read more

Assessing 21st Century SkillsSummary of a Workshop  (BOTA)

The routine jobs of yesterday are being replaced by technology and/or shipped off-shore. In their place, job categories that require knowledge management, abstract reasoning, and personal services... Read more

The Effects of Commuting on Pilot Fatigue  (BOHSI)

Nearly everyone experiences fatigue, but some professions--such as aviation, medicine and the military--demand alert, precise, rapid, and well-informed decision making and communication with little... Read more

Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the ElderlySummary of a Workshop  (CPOP)

The economic crisis that began in 2008 has had a significant impact on the well-being of certain segments of the population and its disruptive effects can be expected to last well into the future. The... Read more

Databases for Estimating Health Insurance Coverage for ChildrenA Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop convened in June 2010 to critically examine the various databases that could provide national and state-level estimates of low-income uninsured... Read more

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