Organizations substantially increased spending on learning and development, according to the findings of ASTD's 2011 State of the Industry Report. Organizations in the United States spent $171.5 billion on employee learning in 2010, up from $125.8 billion in 2009. Employers spent more on employees than ever before.

ASTD's 2011 State of the Industry Report is based on a survey of more than 400 organizations across all major industries. For comparative analysis findings are reported for three data sources: a consolidated source of all organizations; a data source pulling from the 32 BEST Award winning organizations; and, new for 2011, a data source reflecting 22 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

  • $171.5 billion spent on learning and development in 2010
  • 60 percent of expenditures were on internal expenses ($103 billion)
  • Per-employee spending increased 13.5 percent in 2010 ($1,081 in 2009, $1,228 in 2010)
  • There was an increased expenditure on tuition reimbursement.
  • Direct expenditure on learning as a percent of payroll increased from 2.2 to 2.7 percent. In BEST organizations the increase went from 2.2 to 3.3 percent.
  • BEST organizations delivered more training (24 hours more/employee) than the consolidated average.
  • About 70 percent of all training was delivered by an instructor in a classroom, up 3 percent from 2009. 60 percent of this instruction was delivered by live instruction.
  • Technology-based delivery of instruction declined from 36.3 percent in 2009 to 29.1 percent in 2010
  • Managerial and supervisory training was the most offered content (12.8 percent) followed by profession- or industry-specific content (11.3 percent), and mandatory and compliance content (10 percent.)

The ASTD 2011 State of the Industry Report is free to ASTD members. It is available on the ASTD Store.