Providing Public Workforce Services to Job Seekers: 15-Month Impact Findings on the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
May 30, 2016
Authors
Sheena McConnell, Kenneth Fortson, Dana Rotz, Peter Schochet, Paul Burkander, Linda Rosenberg, Annalisa Mastri, and Ronadl D'Amico

Key Findings:

  • Intensive services increased quarterly earnings by about $600, an increase of 17 percent, in the fifth quarter after job seekers were enrolled in the study. Intensive services also led to job seekers obtaining jobs with more fringe benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits.
  • As expected, training reduced employment and earnings in the first few quarters after study enrollment as job seekers who were enrolled in training were less likely to have time for employment. By the fifth quarter, 13 to 15 months after study enrollment, these job seekers had yet to see their training result in higher employment rates or earnings. About 15 percent of all job seekers in the study were still in training in the fifth quarter after study enrollment. Therefore it may be too early to see the benefits of training.
  • Together, intensive services and training increased the likelihood of job seekers finding a job, but this did not translate into an increase in earnings within the 15 months after study enrollment.
First authorized by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998, and reauthorized in 2014 by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs are two of the nation’s largest publicly funded employment and training programs. To rigorously assess the impact of these programs on job seekers’ employment and earnings, the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor contracted with Mathematica Policy Research and our partners at Social Policy Research Associates, MDRC, and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce to conduct a national evaluation. This report includes interim impact findings from this evaluation of 28 randomly selected local workforce investment areas from across the country.