PARIS -- A new study has found that adults in Spain and Italy are among the least equipped in the developed world to emerge from the economic crisis that has gripped Europe and beyond.
Their northern European and Asian counterparts, meanwhile, have educated and inventive workforces in position to adapt and even thrive for generations.
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The OECD survey measured skills of 166,000 adults ages 16 to 65 in 24 countries or regions and is the first of its kind. It looked at not just reading and math, but also how adults solve problems and their comfort with new technologies that are key to getting and keeping a job. Spain and Italy, which have suffered deeply in the economic downturn, were at the bottom of the list in nearly all measures.