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

This report from the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and MDRC examines the impact of 37 CTE-dedicated high schools in New York City on a range of outcomes, including academic engagement, high school graduation, and college enrollment.


Young adults facing homelessness are a growing demographic. Covenant House is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and supportive services for young people facing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking. MDRC and Covenant House partnered to explore the perspectives and experiences of those young people as they navigate the workforce.

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.