This report outlines the research design parameters, methods, data sources, tasks, timelines and next steps for conducting a wage insurance and a wage supplement demonstration and accompanying evaluation. The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) presents a range of research questions related to program design and results.

Policymakers are looking to alternative measures to encourage more rapid reemployment and ensure better earnings recovery for unemployment insurance (UI) program participants to keep pace with the changing nature of work. Two proposed measures are the provision of wage insurance and/or the provision of wage supplements as a complement to UI benefits. These approaches are designed to increase the speed of reemployment and improve the wages of reemployed individuals.

This report outlines design parameters, evaluation methods, data sources, tasks, timelines and next steps for conducting wage insurance and a wage supplement demonstration and accompanying evaluations. The study also describes the key research questions related to program design and results, along with supplemental research questions gathered from the literature, feasibility analysis of the demonstrations, and discussions with an expert advisory committee and DOL policy and program staff. Design parameters and options are outlined for each demonstration. These include program eligibility, targeting, supplement amount, duration and timing, and administrative infrastructure, and are largely based on the existing literature. The report proposes an implementation study and randomized control trial to capture the labor market impacts of the wage insurance and wage supplement demonstrations using employer records, state UI records, and survey data. The authors also recommend conducting a benefit/cost analysis. A discussion of the feasibility of the demonstrations and evaluation is included, along with precautions to ensure validity. Recommended large sample sizes and randomized control trial design will support statistically significant results.

In this final report of the project, researchers outline the proposed wage supplements and wage insurance demonstrations and offer recommendations for evaluating them under the following sections:

  1. Restates and expands the research questions guiding the demonstrations.
  2. Presents design parameters and options.
  3. Describes methods and major data sources for the evaluation.
  4. Offers an assessment of the evaluability of the demonstrations.
  5. Outlines next steps, the key tasks and timelines for implementing the demonstrations and launching the evaluation.

Major Findings & Recommendations

Findings:

The authors of this report outline the proposed wage supplements and wage insurance demonstrations that complement traditional UI benefits and offer recommendations for evaluating them. This information is provided through the five elements of the report. The first section restates and expands the research questions guiding the demonstrations. The second section presents design parameters and options. The third section describes methods and major data sources for the evaluation. The fourth section offers an assessment of the evaluability of the demonstrations. The fifth and final section outlines next steps, the key tasks and timelines for implementing the demonstrations and launching the evaluation.

Recommendations:

  • The report provides the research questions posed to in the studies examined. The research questions seek to identify those activities and interventions that improve employment outcomes for UI beneficiaries
  • The authors identified program eligibility, targeting, supplement amount, duration and timing, and administrative infrastructure as the key design parameters (details are provided in Table 1 of the report).
  • The report recommends that a similar demonstration evaluation include both an implementation study and an impact analysis using an experimental design to capture labor market outcomes.
  • An evaluability analysis provides recommendations on the sample sizes for similar research projects based on gender, race, age and industrial sector (details are provided in Table 2 of the report).
  • The authors outline the timing and structure of proposed wage insurance/supplements demonstrations and evaluations.

Note: Readers may find the Evaluation of Impacts of the Reemployment (REA) Program: Final Report of interest. That resource can be found here.