Insights from the 2023 Training Industry Report

In the fast-paced world of corporate training and development, staying updated with the latest trends and industry insights is crucial for HR and L&D managers. The 2023 Training Industry Report offers valuable information on training expenditures, budgets, and delivery methods. Let’s take a look at some key findings from this report.

Training Expenditures:

The report reveals that U.S. training expenditures remained relatively stable in 2022-2023, with a slight increase of just 0.2 percent, reaching $101.8 billion. Notably, spending on outside products and services surged by 23 percent to $10.1 billion. This shift highlights the growing reliance on external resources to meet training needs.

For small companies, although their individual budgets are modest, their sheer number means they collectively account for almost one-third of the total training expenditure. This underlines the importance of recognizing the unique contribution of small businesses to the training landscape.

Training Staff and Payroll:

The report also provides insights into the staffing and payroll aspects of training. On average, large companies saw a decrease in their training budgets, while midsize companies remained steady, and small companies experienced growth in their training budgets.

It’s interesting to note that companies that reported an increase in training staff saw significant growth, with an average increase of 17 people. Conversely, those reducing their staff witnessed a decrease of 45 people, primarily observed in large companies.

Other Training Expenditures:

Apart from training budgets, organizations allocate resources for various other training-related expenses, including travel, facilities, in-house development, and equipment. On average, companies allocated 16 percent of their budget to learning tools and technologies, with large manufacturers/distributors having the largest budgets in this category.

Anticipated Purchases:

Looking ahead, organizations are gearing up for specific purchases. Online learning tools and systems, games and simulations, business skills, courseware design, and classroom tools and systems are among the top priorities. It’s noteworthy that learning management systems and authoring tools/systems saw a decrease in interest compared to the previous year.

Per Learner Spending:

The report reveals that, on average, companies spent $954 per learner in 2023, showing a decrease from $1,207 per learner in 2022. The highest per-learner spending was observed in services organizations and nonprofits, while small and midsize companies outpaced large corporations in this aspect.

Training Hours and Focus:

Employees received an average of 57 hours of training per year, slightly lower than the previous year. Most training expenditures were allocated to training non-exempt employees, with 38 percent of the focus in 2023.

Budget Changes:

Regarding training budgets, 40 percent of companies reported an increase, while 11 percent saw a decrease. Manufacturers/distributors had a greater tendency for budget cuts, while services and nonprofit organizations saw more budget gains.

Training Delivery:

In the post-pandemic landscape, organizations are transitioning from remote training to in-person training for certain skills. Management/supervisory training, onboarding, and interpersonal skills training are leading this shift. However, many companies plan to maintain a balance between in-person and remote training in the coming year.

Delivery Methods:

Blended learning remained popular, with 32 percent of training hours using this approach. Virtual classrooms/Webcasting, online or computer-based technologies, and instructor-led classrooms were also commonly used. Notably, emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence were less widely adopted.

Training Outsourcing:

The report indicates an increase in the average expenditure for training outsourcing, with large companies leading in this area. Notably, 23 percent of companies mostly or completely outsourced LMS operations/hosting. However, learner support and LMS administration were primarily handled in-house.


The 2023 Training Industry Report provides valuable insights into the dynamic world of corporate training and development. It highlights the importance of adapting to evolving trends, leveraging external resources, and maintaining a balanced approach to training delivery. This information equips HR and L&D managers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions in a rapidly changing landscape.

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