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The economic impact of the Nevada Claimant Employment Program (Hanna & Turney 1990)

Citation

Hanna, J., & Turney, Z. (1990). The economic impact of the Nevada Claimant Employment Program. Unemployment Insurance Occasional Paper 90(4), 79-92.

Highlights

  • The study determined the effect of reemployment services, particularly job training for those with insufficient skills or education, on Unemployment Insurance (UI) receipt duration.
  • The study was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), with sample members’ outcomes drawn from Nevada state UI records.
  • The study found that reemployment services reduced UI receipt duration by 1.6 weeks, on average, during the first year.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the Nevada Claimant Employment Project; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Intervention Examined

JSA services

Features of the Intervention

In 1987, Nevada’s Employment Security Department launched a demonstration project to determine the effect of enhanced reemployment services on UI recipients’ claim duration. Claimants no more than four weeks into their benefit year with no pending nonmonetary issues or interstate employment were eligible to participate. Researchers randomly assigned 1,424 eligible claimants to a treatment group who received enhanced reemployment services and 1,667 to a control group who received standard reemployment services. The enhanced services included job placement for those who were ready for immediate employment and referrals to job training programs for those whose credentials made immediate job placement impractical. Referrals were commonly made to publicly funded training programs, such as Job Training Partnership Act, Titles II and III.

Findings

Public benefits receipt

  • The study found that the enhanced reemployment services reduced UI duration by 1.6 weeks, on average, in the first year.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

Although this study was designed as an RCT, the probability of assignment to the treatment group fluctuated during randomization. The authors did not control for these changes in their analyses, making it ineligible to receive a high causal evidence rating. In addition, because the authors did not include statistical controls in their analyses, we cannot be confident that the members of the treatment and control groups who were included in the final analysis were comparable before the intervention. Therefore, the reported impact estimates may reflect the two groups’ different characteristics, rather than the program’s effectiveness.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low. The probability of random assignment fluctuated during the randomization period, and the authors did not include sufficient controls to account for this variation. In addition, they did not include controls to account for pre-treatment differences across the claimants being compared. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the Nevada Claimant Employment Project. Other factors are likely to have contributed.

Reviewed by CLEAR

June 2015

Topic Area