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Tables: Adult

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Table A37. Mean literacy and numeracy proficiency score among U.S. adults ages 16-65, by current labor force status, educational attainment of employed adults, and occupational field of employed adults: 2012/2014

Current labor force status, educational attainment, and occupational field Mean
literacy proficiency
  Mean numeracy proficiency  
Total 271.7   257.2  
Current labor force status        
Employed 277.0   264.1  
Unemployed 258.8   237.7  
Out of the labor force 256.5   238.2  
Educational attainment of employed adults        
Less than high school 223.2   210.6  
High school, no postsecondary degree 267.0   251.8  
Associate's degree 285.6   270.4  
Bachelor's degree 302.9   293.3  
Graduate or professional degree 312.0   304.3  
Occupational field of employed adults        
Armed forces    
Legislators, senior officials and managers 296.0   289.1  
Professionals 304.5   293.3  
Technicians and associate professionals 284.1   268.8  
Clerks 279.1   259.6  
Service workers and shop and market sales workers 262.9   245.6  
Skilled agricultural and fishery workers    
Craft and related trades workers 261.7   254.2  
Plant and machine operators and assemblers 247.3   237.8  
Elementary occupations1 242.9   230.1  
‡ Reporting standards not met.        
1 Occupations coded using the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). "Elementary occupations" include agricultural labor, construction, mining, transportation, food preparation assistance, cleaning, domestic help, and other routine manual labor.
NOTE: Proficiency in literacy and numeracy are scaled between 0 and 500 score points. Literacy and numeracy proficiency scores cannot be compared directly because each domain has a distinct framework, construct, set of items, and scale. Estimates based on U.S. combined data from 2012 and 2014.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), U.S. PIAAC 2012/2014.
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