As the public workforce development system grapples with serving the sharp influx of unemployed workers, state and local workforce development service providers can turn to promising, evidence-based approaches. Learn about the findings from evaluations of states’ reemployment services that can be helpful in supporting workers’ rapid return to work.

 

Are Reemployment Services Effective in Periods of High Unemployment?

A reemployment services (RES) program adopted by the Nevada (NV) State Workforce Agency in 2009 when the average unemployment rate was 13.9 percent is the subject of this paper. Unemployment insurance (UI) recipients met with State workforce staff within three weeks of their UI claims to review their eligibility and job search status. To evaluate the RES effectiveness, some UI recipients were randomly assigned to participate in the RES program while others were not. RES was found to reduce the average UI period by more than three weeks, lower the average benefit amount paid by $877, and increase the likelihood of employment in higher-paying jobs. The most recent multi-state evaluation of REA, with up-to-date findings on the impacts of reemployment services, can be found here.

 

Assisting UI Claimants: Long-Term Impacts of the Job Search Assistance Demonstration

This random assignment design evaluation focused on three job search assistance (JSA) approaches on UI receipt and eligibility, employment and earnings, job search, and cost-effectiveness in the District of Columbia (DC) and Florida (FL). UI claimants were provided with either structured, individualized job search assistance, or individualized job search assistance with training. The study found that all JSA approaches reduced the amount or duration of UI benefits that claimants received in the first year. However, the impact of these approaches on employment and earnings differed by locale with DC participants experiencing greater earnings and employment rate impacts than FL claimants. JSA program costs in both states were more than the savings gained by lowered UI benefits expenditures. 

 

Reemployment Service and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Evaluation and Evidence  

To support the implementation of state RESEA evaluations, the Reemployment Connections community of practice on WorkforceGPS currently houses 13 different resources that include policy guidance, evaluation tools, and informative webinars and webcasts. These resources outline the expectations for RESEA program’s evaluation and evidence requirements, describe evaluation designs and plans, and describe the steps needed to procure and select RESEA program evaluators. Several webinars explain how to assess data for evaluation, how to develop evaluation methods, and how the Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research reviews and rates evidence.