This July 4th the Workforce System Strategies team reflects on the status of employment in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the unemployment rate has been decreasing, the employment-to-population ratio of adults ages 25 to 54 remains below pre-recession levels. The resources below summarize findings from studies of subsidized employment programs and interventions designed to improve employment outcomes for low-income adults and individuals with barriers to employment.

Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs. 2016. This report presents findings from an extensive review of subsidized employment programs in the U.S. from the early 1970s to the early 2010s. The authors offer recommendations for policymakers that may improve the effectiveness of programs that aim to improve employment outcomes for individuals with multiple barriers to employment, including, among others, high school dropouts and/or formerly incarcerated individuals.

Assessing the Evidence Base: Strategies That Support Employment for Low-Income Adults. 2016. This literature review synthesizes findings of employment and training interventions published from 1990 to 2014 in the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review.  The transparent and systemic assessment is designed to help practitioners and stakeholders more easily navigate the research to identify interventions that might improve employment outcomes for low-income adults.

Testing the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs: An Introduction to the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration and the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. 2015. This report analyzes two demonstration projects funded by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to evaluate the effectiveness of subsidized employment. The authors describe different subsidized employment models; provide an overview of study methodologies used to evaluate the impact of the subsidized employment programs on participant employment, earnings, incarceration, public assistance receipt, and child support payments; and share early findings from the research.