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Trends in Higher Education Labor Force: Identifying Changes in Worker Composition and Productivity

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Publication Date: April 2009

Publisher(s): Center for College Affordability and Productivity

Author(s): Daniel Bennett

Topic: Education (Education policy and planning)
Education (Education personnel and population)
Education (Adult, technical, and vocational education)
Education (Colleges and universities)

Keywords: Worker Composition; Worker Productivity; Higher Education; Labor Force

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This report will analyze employment trends and labor productivity at institutions of higher education over the past twenty years. What I find is that colleges have altered the composition of their work force by steadily increasing the number of managerial positions and support/service staff, while at the same time disproportionately increasing the number of part-time staff that provides instruction. Meanwhile, employee productivity relative to enrollment and degrees awarded has been relatively flat in the midst of rising compensation.