Skills are in decline.

Theories abound as to why U.S. productivity growth has stalled. A recent report from J.P. Morgan Chase offers another: It’s at least partly because the American workforce as a whole is simply less skilled than it used to be.

Wall Street Journal staffer Anna Louie Sussman taps into the J.P. Morgan Chase findings, noting that growth in “labor quality,” a benchmark for skills among average workers, is trending downward. Sussman writes that the backdrop to the data is worrying:

Well-educated baby boomers are retiring, and many laid-off older Americans who want to work have struggled to find jobs following the recession, bringing the overall experience level of the workforce down. College enrollment is on the decline after peaking in 2011, as the economic expansion creates job opportunities for less-skilled workers.

The policy implications: more targeted skills training. Who'll pay for that?

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