Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study's objective was to examine the impact of the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt in seven sites. This profile focuses on the comparison between ETJD program and control groups at all sites. The authors investigated similar research questions for each individual site, the profiles of which can be found here.
- The study was a randomized controlled trial of seven transitional job programs that assigned individuals to the transitional job group or control group. Using surveys and administrative records, the authors conducted statistical models to compare the outcomes of the transitional job and control group participants 30 months after the participants entered the study.
- The study found that transitional job program participants were significantly more likely to be employed, have higher earnings, and were less likely to receive public benefits compared to control group participants.
- This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD), and not to other factors.
Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration
Features of the Intervention
The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected seven organizations to operate transitional job programs for low-income noncustodial parents or formerly incarcerated individuals. Each ETJD program was structured differently but they all included enhancements aimed at improving outcomes compared to traditional transitional job programs. The enhancements included structural changes to how job placements occurred, enhanced support or assistance, and child support incentives. The programs served individuals released from prison in the past 120 days and noncustodial parents who owed child support but were unemployed and not able to pay. The Good Transitions Program in Atlanta, GA; Supporting Families Through Work Program in Milwaukee, WI; TransitionsSF in San Francisco, CA; and the Parent Success Initiative in Syracuse, NY served noncustodial parents. The Next STEP program in Fort Worth, TX; RecycleForce program in Indianapolis, IN; and the Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work program in New York, NY served formerly incarcerated people.
Features of the Study
The study was a randomized controlled trial of seven transitional job programs at seven sites. At each site, approximately 1000 participants were randomly assigned to the transitional job program group or the control group. The study sample from all sites included participants who were either formerly incarcerated or noncustodial parents. Participants in the program group were invited to participate in the transitional employment program. Participants in the control group were given information about other services available in their communities. The study team examined the effects of the program on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt outcomes 30 months after participants entered the study. Outcomes were measured using data gathered from the National Directory of New Hires and a survey of participants. The authors used statistical models to compare the outcomes of treatment and control group participants.
There were seven sites in the study.
- Atlanta, GA
- Fort Worth, TX
- Indianapolis, IN
- Milwaukee, WI
- New York, NY
- San Francisco, CA
- Syracuse, NY
Earnings and wages
- The study found that treatment participants earned on average $700 more during the last year of the follow-up period than participants in the control group. This difference was statistically significant.
- The study also found that treatment participants earned significantly more during the 30-month follow-up period than participants in the control group ($18,371 vs. $15,271, respectively).
- The study found that more treatment participants than control participants were ever employed in the last year of the follow-up period (64 percent vs. 60 percent), and were employed in all four quarters of the last year (29 percent vs. 26 percent). These differences were significant.
- The study also found that treatment participants were significantly more likely to report permanent employment at the time of the 30-month survey compared to control participants (41 percent vs. 34 percent).
Public benefits receipt
- The study found that program participants were significantly less likely to report receiving food stamps in the past month compared to the control group (33 percent vs. 38 percent).
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The study authors noted that the programs’ impacts may be understated since participants in the control group received other transitional employment services during the study. Also, the study reports a less stringent statistical significance level, considering p-values of less than 0.10 to be significant, though it is standard practice to consider statistical significance if the p-value is less than 0.05. Only results that demonstrate a p-value of less than 0.05 are considered statistically significant in this profile.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD), and not to other factors.