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Barriers to employment for out-of-school youth: Evidence from a sample of recent CET applicants (Miller & Porter 2005)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated


Miller, C., & Porter, K. (2005). Barriers to employment for out-of-school youth: Evidence from a sample of recent CET applicants. MDRC working paper. New York: MDRC.


  • This report describes the associations between barriers to employment and employment outcomes of a sample of applicants in the Center for Employment Training (CET) replication sites. The CET program provided an intensive, short-term job training program for economically disadvantaged out-of-school youth that was designed to mirror the workplace.
  • The overall impact of CET on youths’ employment outcomes is described in a different report (see CLEAR profile of Miller et al. 2005). This report described whether three barriers to employment—(1) lack of a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate, (2) childbearing, and (3) arrests—were associated with lower employment rates, and whether lower employment rates stemmed from employment instability or a longer length of time needed to find a job.
  • The authors used data from the 54-month survey of CET applicants from the impact evaluation. For that evaluation, eligible youth were randomly assigned to receive CET services or to the control group, which was ineligible for CET services.
  • The authors found that youth who did not finish high school or obtain a GED were less successful in the labor market than those who received a high school credential. Wages for dropouts were lower on average and dropouts worked less than high school graduates and GED recipients. Among male dropouts, job instability contributed to low average employment rates; for female dropouts, both job instability and longer spells of unemployment contributed to low employment rates.
  • Having children at study entry was not associated with poorer employment outcomes for males or females. However, young men who had arrest records faced substantial challenges in finding jobs and were more likely to work in lower quality jobs in the retail or service industries than those without arrest records.

Intervention Examined

The Center for Employment Training (CET) Replication

Reviewed by CLEAR

April 2014