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Long-term effects of job-search assistance: Experimental evidence using administrative tax data (Manoli et al. 2018)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

Manoli, D. S., Michaelides, M., & Patel, A. (2018). Long-term effects of job-search assistance: Experimental evidence using administrative tax data. (Report no. w24422). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Highlights

  • The study examined the impact of the Nevada Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program on long-term employment, earnings, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit receipt.
  • This study was a randomized controlled trial that took place in the state of Nevada and involved new UI claimants from July to December 2009. The authors used program administrative and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return data to compare outcomes of participants with outcomes of the control group for six years following the intervention.
  • The study found that participants of the Nevada REA program experienced greater increases in employment and earnings relative to the control group for each of the six years following the intervention. Additionally, the study found that participants of the Nevada REA program experienced greater decreases in UI benefit receipt relative to the control group and lower benefit amounts in the first year after program entry.
  • 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 the Nevada REA program, and not to other factors. See more CLEAR profiles related to The Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment.

Intervention Examined

Reemployment Eligibility Assessment

Features of the Intervention

Since its inception in 2005, 40 states have implemented the REA initiative to encourage rapid reemployment of UI claimants through a combination of in-person eligibility reviews and employment-focused case management. In the Nevada version of REA, program participants were required to receive not only REA services but also reemployment services, which were provided by the same staff. REA services included an individual assessment, orientation to the One-Stop Career Center (now known as American Job Center), provision of labor market information, a workforce service workshop, and development of an individual reemployment plan. Reemployment services included job search and resume assistance, job matching against state and federal position databases, and provision of information regarding job training options.

To be eligible for the program, Nevada residents had to be filing first-time UI claims, have received at least one week of benefits under the new claim, have no scheduled return to a previous employer, not concurrently be participating in other training programs, have no exclusive union hiring hall agreements, and not be part of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services program.

Features of the Study

This randomized controlled trial took place in the state of Nevada and involved Nevada residents filing first-time UI claims from July to December 2009 in two workforce regions of the state: the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise and the Reno metropolitan areas. A total of 32,751 claimants were deemed eligible for the program; 4,673 were randomly assigned to the REA program and 28,078 to the control group. The probability of assignment to the REA program varied based on program capacity each week but was typically around 15 percent. Treatment group members received REA and reemployment services. Control group members were not required to receive REA or reemployment services but had to continue the usual requirements for UI claimants, such as filing weekly claims, conducting an independent job search, and being subject to random quality assurance evaluation. If desired, the control group members could seek out reemployment services on their own.

The authors used two data sets in their analyses: (1) administrative data maintained by the Nevada REA program that included information on program participation and private-sector quarterly earnings in Nevada from 2008 to 2011, and (2) tax records maintained by the IRS that included W-2 statements and filed tax returns from 2001 to 2015. The authors used a statistical model to compare the outcomes of treatment and control group members in terms of employment, earnings, and UI benefit receipt in each year.

Findings

Employment

• The Nevada REA program increased employment by 5.1 percentage points in the first full year after program entry and by 2.9 to 4.5 percentage points in the next five years after program entry (from 2011 to 2015). This result was statistically significant in each year.

Earnings

• The Nevada REA program increased earnings by $1,361 in the first full year after program entry and by $1,413 to $2,087 in the next five years after program entry (from 2011 to 2015). This result was statistically significant in each year.

UI benefit receipt

• The Nevada REA program significantly decreased UI benefit receipt and UI benefit amount collected in the first full year after program entry. The study did not find any impacts on UI benefits after the first year.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The authors estimated multiple related impacts on outcomes related to employment, earnings, and UI benefit receipt for each year they examined from 2010 to 2015. The authors did not perform statistical adjustments to account for the multiple tests, so the number of statistically significant findings in these domains is likely to be overstated.

In addition, the authors reported estimates of the effects of the Nevada REA program on UI benefit receipt and UI benefit amount collected graphically and did not provide specific numeric estimates.

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 the Nevada REA program, and not to other factors.

Reviewed by CLEAR

October 2018

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