Reports the short-term findings on participants’ earnings, employment, and job quality from an experimental impact evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker programs across 28 local areas randomly selected for the study.

“In this report, [the authors] present the study’s findings on the short-term impacts of the [WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker] programs...” (p.xv).

“…[T]he evaluation addressed three main policy-relevant questions:

  • Did the availability of core, intensive, and training services improve employment-related outcomes (such as earnings, employment, and job quality) more than the availability of core and intensive services only? 
  • Did the availability of core and intensive services improve employment-related outcomes more than the availability of core services only?
  • Did the availability of core, intensive, and training services improve employment-related outcomes more than the availability of core services only?” (p.xvi).

“The study occurred in 28 local areas spread across DOL’s six administrative regions” (p.xvii). Eligible customers were randomly assigned to one of three study groups: a “[f]ull-WIA group” that could receive core, intensive, and training services; a “[c]ore-and-intensive” group that could not receive training; and a “[c]ore” group that could receive core services but not intensive services or training (p.xvii). “About 36,000 customers were randomly assigned from November 2011 through April 2013, with most customers enrolled in 2012” (p.xvii). “The study focuses on the effectiveness of the availability of WIA-funded training and intensive services…, both separately and together” (p.xv).

“To address the research questions, [the authors] compared the service receipt, training participation, and employment and other outcomes of the customers in the three study groups” (p.xviii). “This report presents findings based on comparisons of service receipt and outcomes measured using program administrative records and a follow-up survey conducted at about 15 months after random assignment. Data on the characteristics of customers were collected from self-administered forms completed by the customers just before random assignment. Data on the characteristics of the local areas were collected primarily from the implementation study” (p.xviii).

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

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)


Major Findings & Recommendations

The authors reported the following findings: Receipt of Services •“Full-WIA customers received more core services than core-and-intensive customers, who in turn received more than core customers” (p.xx). •“Core-and-intensive customers received more intensive services than core customers” (p.xx). •“Full-WIA customers received more supportive services (either funded by WIA or from other sources in the community) than core-and-intensive customers, who in turn received more than core customers” (p.xx). “Participation in Training The availability of WIA funding for training increased the proportion of customers who enrolled in a training program” (p.xx). “Impacts on earnings and employment of the availability of WIA-funded training The availability of WIA-funded training did not increase earnings or employment in the 15 months after random assignment” (p.xxii). “The lack of positive earnings and other employment outcomes likely resulted from the full-WIA customers being more likely to be enrolled in a training program and hence having less time for employment in these early quarters” (p.xxiii). “Impacts on earnings and employment of the availability of WIA-funded intensive services [The authors’] findings suggest, but not definitively, that the availability of WIA-funded intensive services increased earnings and employment in the fifth quarter after random assignment” (p.xxiii). “Impacts on earnings and employment of the availability of WIA-funded intensive services and training together The availability of both WIA-funded training and intensive services increased the proportion of customers who were employed, but not their average earnings, in the fifth quarter after random assignment” (p.xxiv). “Differences in impacts by customers’ characteristics, local area unemployment rates, and local area policies …[B]ecause of smaller sample sizes the estimated impacts are imprecise. Hence, [the authors] consider these analyses exploratory. The findings did not differ significantly by customer subgroup” (p.xxv). “A forthcoming report… will provide more definitive evidence. It will discuss the estimates of the effectiveness of the programs based on following the study participants for another 5 quarters for a total of 10 quarters, or 30 months, after random assignment” (p. xxviii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)