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Report: Americans rank last in problem-solving with technology

The popularity of social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter makes the “research” portion of the scam much easier. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

WASHINGTON — When it comes to problem-solving skills in tech-heavy work environments, American workers are the worst.

According to a new report, the U.S. ranks last among 18 industrial countries for workers using digital technology to evaluate information and perform practical tasks.

Experts say it’s partially due to flagging literacy and numeracy skills, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“When you look at this data it suggests the trends we’ve discerned over the last 20 years are continuing and if anything they are gaining momentum,” said Joseph Fuller, a Harvard Business School professor who studies competitiveness.

Japan, Finland, Sweden and Norway scored the highest on the problem-solving with technology criteria. Second to last was Poland, just above the U.S.

“The adult population in the United States is decidedly weaker in numeracy and digital problem-solving skills than in literacy,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Department of Education that conducted the study.

Americans with the most cerebral jobs fared the best against the rest of the world in the earlier tests.

The report is based off Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIACC, testing data from thousands of adults between the ages of 16 and 74.

Read the complete report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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