Do Postsecondary Training Programs Respond to Changes in the Labor Market?

Authors:
Michel Grosz
Working Paper:
343

This paper analyzes whether postsecondary training programs have kept up with shifts in the occupational structure of the labor market over the past decades. I compare long-term trends in the distribution of employment, degrees, and certificates across occupation groupings using data from the Census and from the nation's largest community college system. I then estimate that an occupation's share of community college completions grows 0.53 percentage points for every percentage point increase in its share of employment. However, I show that this relationship is primarily driven by increases in student demand rather than by colleges expanding capacity.