• United States

Training expenditures

Dec 16, 20032 mins
BudgetingData Center

* American Society for Training & Development's State of the Industry Report

Despite talk of training budgets being reduced in the downturn, companies actually spent more on staff training in 2002 than in 2001, according to a recent report from the American Society for Training & Development’s. The ASTD’s 2003 State of the Industry Report also shows that employees spent more time learning and their employers used technology more frequently to deliver training than in 2001.

Based on responses from 276 U.S. companies, the survey data is reported separately for three different groups. Results are broken down into companies that submitted data to ASTD’s Benchmarking Service, companies that are members of the ASTD’s Benchmarking Forum, and the top 10% from either group that spend the most on training.

“The data show that despite the economic challenges U.S. organizations faced in 2002, they continued to invest in employee training,” says Brenda Sugrue, director of research for ASTD and author of the study. “It’s clear that these organizations understand that the key to sustaining a competitive advantage is a knowledgeable, highly skilled workforce.”

Here are some of the survey highlights pertaining to the benchmarking service organizations, the broadest range of companies represented in the study:

* Training as a percentage of payroll rose 2.2% last year, up from 1.9% in 2001.

* Training expenditure per employee increased to $826 per worker in 2002, as compared to $734 in 2001.

* Training hours per employee rose to 28 in 2002, up from 24 in 2001.

* E-learning increased to 15.4% of training in 2002, up from 10.5% in 2001. Classroom training decreased from 77% in 2001 to 72% in 2002.

* Spending on learning technologies decreased to 2% of training expenditures in 2002, as compared to 5% in 2001.

* The percentage of training expenditures that went to salaries dropped to 34% in 2002, down from 50% in 2001.

For more information, go to You can purchase the ASTD report for $149.95, and is available free to the organization’s members.

And jumping ahead to 2004, what are your organization’s plans for training IT employees? Do you plan to increase spending, cut training expenses, or hold the line? Let me know at