Press Release

2012 State of the Industry Report: Organizations Continue to Invest in Organizational Learning and Development

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Organizational spending on learning and development stayed relatively stable with a slight decrease from last year according to the findings of ASTD's 2012 State of the Industry Report. Organizations in the United States spent $156.2 billion on employee learning in 2011, down from $171.5 billion in 2010, which represented the height of spending on employee learning since ASTD began collecting data in 2001.

ASTD's 2012 State of the Industry Report is based on a survey of 461 organizations representing a diverse sample of industry, size, and location. For comparative analysis, findings are reported for three data sources: a consolidated source of all organizations; a data source pulling from the 30 BEST® Award winning organizations, and a data source reflecting 27 Fortune Global 500 organizations.

Overall, the State of the Industry Report demonstrates that despite current economic challenges, senior executives understand that a highly skilled workforce is a strategic differentiator and they are investing in the development of their employees. Key findings are:

• A total of $156.2 billion was spent on learning and development in 2011.
• Of the total expenditures, 56 percent were on internal expenses ($86.5 billion).
• Per-employee spending decreased 4 percent ($1,228 in 2010 to $1,182, in 2011).
• Expenditure on tuition reimbursement increased 11 percent (12.9 percent in 2010 to 14.3 percent in 2011) for consolidated.
• Direct expenditure on learning as a percent of payroll increased from 2.7 to 3.2 percent for consolidated.
• BEST organizations delivered more training (14 hours more per employee) than the consolidated average.
• Technology-based delivery of instruction rose from 29.2 percent in 2010 to 38.5 percent in 2011.
• Managerial and supervisory training was the most offered content (12.6 percent), followed by profession- or industry-specific content (11.6 percent), and mandatory and compliance content (10.6 percent).


A digital version (PDF) of the ASTD 2012 State of the Industry Report is free to ASTD members. A print version is also available for purchase. The report can be downloaded or purchased on the ASTD Store.

About the Author

ASTD Research tracks trends, informs decisions, and connects research to performance. By providing comprehensive data and insightful analysis, ASTD Research Reports help business leaders and workplace learning and performance professionals understand and more effectively respond to today's fast-paced workplace learning and development industry. Our research reports offer an empirical foundation for today's data-driven decision-makers, containing both quantitative and qualitative analysis about organizational learning, human capital management, training, and performance.

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