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.
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
Launched in 2005 by the Departments of Labor and Justice, the Reintegration of Ex-Offenders initiative provides funding to 24 grantees to strengthen urban communities affected by high numbers of reentering prisoners. This report provides findings from an implementation study; an impact study is expected in 2014.
This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.
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.
An Examination of the Children at the Beginning of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration
Children who live in public housing are commonly thought to be at greater risk of experiencing academic and behavioral problems than other low-income children, but this paper is among the few to explore empirically the characteristics and circumstances of these children.
Findings from the Jobs-Plus Baseline Survey
Tapping a deep pool of survey data to learn about residents’ connections to the labor market, this report dispels some widespread misconceptions. For example, it finds that even in places with high rates of joblessness, many public housing residents have work histories that are extensive and varied, albeit typically in unstable, low-wage jobs.
The Jobs-Plus Experience in Public Housing Developments
Through extensive ethnographic interviews with staff and residents of two Jobs-Plus housing developments in Seattle and St. Paul, this report explains how a range of social and personal issues characteristic of largely immigrant public housing residents can render conventional employment and support services ineffective.