MDRC develops and tests programs to help people who are unemployed, or lack access to jobs with a living wage, gain a foothold in the labor market, particularly those who face serious obstacles on individual and systemic levels to finding and keeping jobs.

The Latest

In this commentary originally published by WorkShift, Deondre’ Jones describes how the WorkAdvance initiative helped reduce racial employment disparities for Black and Latino adults. He also explains important components that program providers may want to include to better support participants of color.


Drawing on lessons from the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project, this guide provides practical advice on how child support agencies can apply principles of procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) to build trust, better engage participants, and create a more fair and effective process.

Key Documents

Final Results of the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project and Selected Sites from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

Issue Focus

In this commentary published by Spotlight on Poverty, MDRC President Gordon Berlin makes the case for creating a more flexible safety net that continues to reward work when jobs are plentiful, provides employment to poor families when jobs disappear, and begins to address the problem of stagnant wages at the low end of the labor market.


Which Improves Welfare Recipients’ Earnings More in the Long Term?

Findings after 10-15 years from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies suggest that while initially stressing job search for participants led to greater earnings in the short term than did initially stressing education and training, neither approach produced substantial effects past the five-year follow-up period.