Evaluates the impact of program participation and postsecondary training on employment and labor outcomes of Unemployment Insurance Training Benefit participants compared with statistically similar UI claimants using longitudinal educational and labor data in the state of Washington from 2006 to 2009.

“The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Training Benefits Program on the earnings of TB Program participants, with a particular focus on the training completed. The intent of the TB Program is to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and abilities to enhance their long-term earnings potential in high demand occupations. People who are eligible for participation in the TB Program…include dislocated workers, U.S. military veterans, Washington National Guard members, mentally or physically disabled people and low income individuals. Overall, there have been 21,033 TB participants from 2002 through 2012” (p.1).

 

“Upon entering the program, TB participants must enroll in training that prepares them for a high-demand occupation in their local workforce development area….Under current law, UI claimants who qualify for the TB Program receive up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits. These 52 weeks include 26 weeks of regular benefits and an additional 26 weeks of benefits paid out of a portion of the trust fund set aside for the TB Program. Unemployment benefit eligibility reached a peak of 125 weeks for TB participants, and 99 weeks for all other UI claimants, during the period of federal benefit extensions that lasted from June 2008 through December 2013” (p.3).

 

[The authors] analyze the educational and labor force histories of individuals who received unemployment benefits from the years 2006 through 2009” (p.4). They “assess the effectiveness of the TB Program from the perspective of program participants. The main questions [they] answer in this report are as follows:

 

1) Does participation in the TB Program increase participants’ future earnings?

2) Does the number of college credits completed while in the TB Program affect future earnings?

3) Do participants who take more science, technology, engineering and math…or health-related courses experience greater gains in earnings?” (p.1).

 
(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

 

Full publication title: Effect of Community and Technical College Course Work on Annual Earnings for the Training Benefits Program, 2006-2009


Major Findings & Recommendations

“The TB Program contributes to an increase in earnings. [The authors’] findings, while exploratory, suggest that TB Program participation is generally beneficial from the standpoint of the participant. Assuming TB participants and nonparticipants were statistically similar in terms of the fixed effects [their] model controls for, [the authors] estimate that TB participants would earn $2,872 to $16,710 more than non-participants. Training in health-related fields appears to be especially beneficial. [The authors] also find evidence that health-related college credits, and health-related programs of study, generate higher post-training earnings. This finding is unsurprising in light of recent occupational job growth projections. Indeed, Employment Security Department…projections forecast that two, of the top six, fastest growing major occupational groups in Washington state are health-related. Further, at the national level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 20, out of the top 30, fastest growing occupations (e.g., personal care aides, home health aides, diagnostic medical sonographers, and occupational therapy assistants) are in health-related fields. TB participants who pursue a greater number of college credits experience steeper drops in earnings. However, this simply reflects the substitution of schooling for work. Among TB participants, [the authors] find evidence that they earn less the more college credits they pursue. [The authors]…believe it reflects a trade-off between the amount of time individuals commit to the pursuit of training, and the amount of time people devote to work….Further, workers who are closer to completing an educational credential at the outset of the TB Program are likely to reenter the labor force earlier than others. Participation in the TB Program impacts the earnings of workers differently. Finally, [the authors] find that the effects of TB Program participation differ across demographic categories of workers. In other words, certain groups of workers may be more (or less) likely to benefit from participation in the TB Program when compared to others. For example, [their] analyses suggest that the year in which one was admitted into the TB Program, gender, and low income status all affect the relationship between program participation and earnings” (p.1-2). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)