Figure

V-01c: Average Score on PIAAC Literacy Proficiency Assessment, by Skill Level of Occupation, United States Compared to International Average, 2011/2012*

* “PIAAC” stands for the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. Skilled occupations include legislators, senior officials and managers, professionals, technicians, and associate professionals. Semiskilled white-collar occupations include clerks, service workers, and shop and market sales workers. Semiskilled blue-collar occupations include skilled agricultural and fishery workers, craft and related trades workers, plant and machine operators, and assemblers. Elementary occupations include, but are not limited to, laborers.
** The adjusted difference is based on a regression model and takes account of differences associated with the following variables: age, gender, education, immigration, language, and socioeconomic background. The adjusted differences are statistically significant at the .05 level.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills (Paris: OECD Publishing, 2013), Table A3.19.

The Survey of Adult Skills (administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] as part of its Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIAAC) assesses the proficiency of adults, ages 16–65, in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Literacy is defined “as the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential” (OECD, OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills [Paris: OECD Publishing, 2013], 61). The test, administered primarily on computer, assesses respondents’ ability to navigate through texts with print and digital characteristics; identify, interpret, and evaluate the material; and synthesize findings. For a complete description of the types of skills associated with each level, see “Description of Proficiency Levels in Literacy” in the PIAAC report.

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