The Survey of Adults Skills (PIAAC) is an international assessment of the proficiency of adults aged 16-65 years in three key information processing skills: literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. The first results from the survey were released in October 2013 (OECD, 2013) and covered 25 countries and sub-national entities while the last report covers a further nine – Chile, Greece, Indonesia (Jakarta), Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey. For these countries and sub-national entities, data was collected in 2014-15.
Labour market outcomes: Employability and wages
The new report (specifically, chapter 5) shows that, in most countries, proficiency in information-processing skills is positively associated with the probability of being employed and earning higher wages. In practically all countries, proficiency in literacy is valued independently of educational qualifications or experience.
After taking educational attainment into account, a one standard deviation increase in an individual’s literacy proficiency (equivalent to 48 score points) is associated with a 0.8 percentage-point increase in the likelihood of being employed as opposed to being unemployed (Figure 1).