In a previous article Governor Ivey’s “Success Plus” plan was introduced. The objective is to have 50,000 more skilled workers by 2025. A list of credentials that qualify under the plan must be valuable, portable, stackable, trackable, and in demand.
Since 2015, the Census Bureau has been including questions about workers licenses and credentials on the Current Population Survey. “In 2018, more than 43 million people in the United States held a professional certification or license. The prevalence of occupational licenses, common in fields such as healthcare, law, and education, has risen substantially over the past 50 years.”
In the CPS, the difference between a certification and a license is based on who issued the credential. Specifically:
- Credential awarded by a non-governmental certification body
- Based on an individual demonstrating, through an examination process, that they have acquired the designated knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform a specific job
- Does not convey a legal authority to work in an occupation
- Examples: information technology certifications and project management professional certifications
- Credential awarded by a governmental licensing agency based on pre-determined criteria
- The criteria may include some combination of degree attainment, certifications, educational certificates, assessments (including state-administered exams), apprenticeship programs, or work experience
Source: NCES report, 2016, https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017103rev.pdf
Data is not presented at the state or county level. 2018 survey results are provided here.
|Characteristic||Labor force participation rate||Employment–population ratio||Unemployment rate|
|With a certification or license(1)||Without a certification or license||With a certification or license(1)||Without a certification or license||With a certification or license(1)||Without a certification or license|
|Total, 16 years and over||87.7%||57.8%||86.0%||55.2%||2.0%||4.5%|
|16 to 24 years||86.1||53.3||82.3||48.5||4.4||9.0|
|25 to 54 years||94.0||78.6||92.3||75.7||1.8||3.8|
|55 years and over||74.6||34.3||73.1||33.2||2.0||3.3|
|Black or African American||87.4||57.9||84.5||53.6||3.3||7.3|
|Hispanic or Latino ethnicity(2)||89.0||63.5||86.8||60.3||2.5||5.0|
|Total, 25 years and over||87.8||58.7||86.2||56.6||1.9||3.7|
|Less than a high school diploma||84.8||44.4||81.9||41.9||3.4||5.8|
|High school graduates, no college(3)||88.4||54.3||85.9||51.9||2.8||4.3|
|Some college or associate degree||87.5||60.2||85.6||57.9||2.2||3.7|
|Some college, no degree||86.7||58.7||84.5||56.3||2.5||4.0|
|Bachelor’s degree or higher||87.9||67.7||86.7||66.0||1.4||2.5|
|Bachelor’s degree only||88.5||68.8||87.2||67.0||1.5||2.5|
(1) A person may have more than one certification or license.
(2) People of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity can be of any race.
(3) Includes people with a high school diploma or equivalent.
(4) Includes people with a master’s, professional, or doctoral degree.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Source: Monthly Labor Review, June 2018
As can be seen, the unemployment rate is significantly lower nationwide for those with certificates or licenses, as compared to those without. This is good reason to support “Success Plus”.
Two sources are available to find information on occupations that require a license or certificate in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Public Health lists occupations related to healthcare and related occupations, https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/about/certificates.html and the Alabama Department of Labor publishes the Alabama Licensed Occupation Guide http://www2.labor.alabama.gov/WorkforceDev/LOG/LOG.pdf . This guide provides occupational codes, a description of the occupation, and projected growth.
The ongoing efforts of the state Workforce Development entities will develop another list of credentials that will not be mandated by law but will provide the benefits that come with skill credentialing and meet regional demands.
BY: Steve Turkoski
Project Manager, Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce