Subsidized employment programs provide jobs to people who cannot find employment in the regular labor market and use public funds to pay all or some of their wages. Part of our “Looking Forward” series, this policy memo describes how these programs may be part of the answer for the long-term unemployed in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Using an alternative to classical statistics, this paper reanalyzes results from three published studies of interventions to increase employment and reduce welfare dependency. The analysis formally incorporates prior beliefs about the interventions, characterizing the results in terms of the distribution of possible effects, and generally confirms the earlier published findings.
Final Results of the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project and Selected Sites from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project
Final Results from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Transitional Jobs Program
Ex-prisoners who had access to CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime and reincarcerated. The effects were particularly large for those ex-prisoners who enrolled in the program shortly after release. The recidivism reductions mean that the program is cost-effective — generating more in savings than it cost.
Final Results from a Test of Transitional Jobs and Preemployment Services in Philadelphia
An evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for long-term welfare recipients finds that: (1) transitional jobs substantially increased employment in the short term, but these effects faded after one year, and (2) it is difficult to engage welfare recipients in extensive preemployment services long enough to improve their employability.
CEO, a transitional jobs program for former prisoners in New York City, had its strongest effects for participants who were at highest risk of recidivism, for whom CEO reduced the probability of rearrest, the number of rearrests, and the probability of reconviction two years after entering the program.
Background, Program Models, and Evaluation Evidence
Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs and other services to help individuals who have difficulty succeeding in the regular labor market. In the context of a new federal initiative to support and study these programs, this paper describes what is known about transitional jobs and offers ideas for program design and research.
Testing Transitional Jobs and Pre-Employment Services in Philadelphia
Interim results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for long-term welfare recipients show that transitional jobs increase employment and earnings but that it is difficult to successfully engage participants in extensive pre-employment services.
Implementation, Two-Year Impacts, and Costs of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Prisoner Reentry Program
A random assignment study shows that participants in CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime, to be admitted to prison for a new conviction, or to be incarcerated for any reason in prison or jail over the first two years. The program also had a large but short-lived impact on employment.
After one year, CEO’s transitional jobs program generated a large but short-lived increase in employment for ex-prisoners. A subgroup of recently released prisoners showed positive effects on recidivism: They were less likely to have their parole revoked, to be convicted of a felony, and to be reincarcerated than the control group.