Examines the Unites States public reemployment services and advocates for increased focus on those services with a priority on unemployment insurance recipients.
“The convergence of record numbers of unemployed job seekers and widespread employer claims of unfilled job vacancies points to a need for programs that can assist job seekers and help employers fill jobs. In this paper, [the National Employment Law Project (NELP) advocates] for renewed focus on our nation’s public reemployment services. First, [the authors recommend] significantly increasing the amount of federal funding for the Employment Service that is a part of the nationwide system of One-Stop Career Centers. Doing so would provide more workers with improved job placement services, in-person job search assistance, and pre-training counseling. Second, [the authors recommend] placing programmatic priority on unemployment insurance recipients who are most likely to have trouble finding a new job” (p.1-2). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“NELP proposes increasing annual funding for the Employment Service by approximately $1.6 billion” (p.13). The breakdown of how this would affect unemployed job seekers is listed below: • “Expanding job placement services, including increased jobs listings on the public exchange and improved matching technology, for approximately 700,000 additional job seekers” (p.14). • “Interviewing an additional 1.5 million UI claimants shortly after their initial claim to discuss a job-search plan” (p.14). • “Providing high-quality job search assistance, comprised of a combination of group-oriented services, like workshops, and individual counseling, to an additional 1.5 million people. This includes UI claimants who have been selected by the UI profiling system to receive such services.” (p.14). • “Providing pre-training counseling for an additional 1.0 million people” (p.14). “These recommendations are made in service of a renewed commitment to our nation’s system of public reemployment programs. The chief components of such a commitment include” (p.14): • “A revitalized job-matching function that recognizes and aligns the needs of employers and job seekers. This is achieved through greater investments in matching technology and the skills development of ES employees” (p.14). • “A system that prioritizes individualized job search assistance and that has the capacity to provide it for all who need it, particularly for those who face obstacles to completing their job search. These services should be provided in conjunction with in-person group services, such as job-search workshop. For UI claimants, job-search assistance services should be linked to the administration of a reasonable work test that encourages reemployment, not one that seeks to disqualify workers from receiving UI through excessive bureaucratic documentation requirements” (p.14). • “In recognition of limited resources, there should be greater investment in identifying new claimants who will likely face the greatest difficulty in becoming reemployed and providing them primarily staff-assisted job search services, as under the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services program” (p.14). • “Finally, a system that provides individualized assistance to less-skilled job seekers considering training in order to make sure they are seeking suitable training and making worthwhile investments in industries where jobs are actually available” (p.15). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)