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Tuning in to local labor markets: Findings from the Sectoral Employment impact study (Maguire et al. 2010)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Low Causal Evidence

Citation

Maguire, S., J. Freely, C. Clymer, M. Conway, & D. Schwartz. (2010). Tuning in to local labor markets: Findings from the Sectoral Employment impact study. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. [JVS-Boston]

Highlights

  • The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)-Boston sectoral employment program on earnings and employment.
  • The study was based on a randomized controlled trial and used survey data to estimate the effect of offering eligible JVS-Boston applicants the program by comparing average outcomes among those offered access to the program with the average outcomes of those excluded from the program, after adjusting for differences between the groups.
  • This review was conducted in collaboration with the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER). Because ESER did not report findings for studies that received a low causal evidence rating, the CLEAR profile does not report the findings either.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because it was based on a randomized controlled trial with high attrition and the authors did not demonstrate that the groups were similar at or account for differences between the two groups in the analyses. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the JVS-Boston program; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Intervention Examined

The Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)-Boston Sectoral Employment Program

Features of the Intervention

JVS-Boston provided industry-specific training programs in medical billing and accounting. Training took place over 20 to 22 weeks, for 20 to 25 hours per week and a 4- to 6-week internship. JVS-Boston also provided job readiness training, case management, and employment supports, such as assistance finding child care and transportation.

Features of the Study

This study was based on a randomized controlled experiment. Analyses were based on 313 eligible applicants for JVS-Boston’s sectoral employment program who were randomly assigned to a treatment group that was allowed to participate in the program or to a control group that was not allowed to participate, but could access services at other providers. The authors estimated the impact of the program by comparing average outcomes among those offered access to the program against the average outcomes of those excluded, after adjusting for chance differences between the groups.

Findings

  • This review was conducted in collaboration with ESER. Because ESER did not report findings for studies that received a low causal evidence rating, the CLEAR profile does not report the findings either.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

Although the study was a randomized controlled trial by design, the high attrition made it ineligible to receive a high causal evidence rating; thus, it was treated as a nonexperimental design for this review. The authors did not demonstrate that the sample groups were similar at baseline or account for other factors required by the protocol for nonexperimental designs, so the study could not receive a moderate causal evidence rating either.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because it was based on a randomized controlled trial with high attrition and the authors did not demonstrate baseline equivalence or include all required control variables in the analyses. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the JVS-Boston program; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Reviewed by CLEAR

August 2016

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