Topics Of Interest
National Directory of New Hires: HHS Seeks Comments on Data Collection
The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), an automated directory maintained by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, was established pursuant to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.
In accordance with Section 453A(g)(2) of the Social Security Act, employers are required to report information pertaining to newly hired employees to their state directory of new hires (SDNH) and, within three days of receiving employer information, states are required to transmit SDNH information to the NDNH. States are also required to transmit wage and unemployment compensation claims information to the NDNH on a quarterly basis. Federal Agencies are required to report new hires and quarterly wage information directly to the NDNH.
The information maintained in the NDNH is collected electronically and is used to assist states in administering child support programs,assisting child support agencies in locating parents, and enforcing child support orders. Additionally, Congress has authorized specific state and federal agencies to receive NDNH information for authorized purposes to assist in administering certain programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services is requesting comments on this information collection request.
The December 27, 2012 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and instructions for the submission of comments.
Assessing the Use and Demand for Technology-Based Financial Capability Tools and Products and Related Services
Of potential interest to those in the workforce community involved in financial literacy efforts
The Treasury Department announced on December 31, 2012 that it plans to submit a new information collection request to OMB - Assessing the Use and Demand for Technology-Based Financial Capability Tools and Products and Related Services.
The Treasury Department notes it "is developing knowledge about consumers' demand, use and understanding of technology-based tools and products that provide information for financial decision-making, including tools available via smartphones and other mobile devices. Treasury will use the collected information under this collection to promote its understanding of this category of tools and products and related services."
Comments are due by March 31, 2013.
ETA Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for the Workforce Investment Act Management and Reporting System
The Employment and Training Administration has published the thirty-day notice for Workforce Investment Act Management Information and Reporting System in the December 31, 2012 FEDERAL REGISTER.
This Information Collection Request represents a three-year extension to the Paperwork Reduction Act approval for the Workforce Investment Act Management Information and Reporting System with modifications to make Workforce Investment Act (WIA) performance reporting completely compatible with workforce investment streamlined performance reporting. This WIA reporting structure includes quarterly (ETA 9090) and annual (ETA 9091) reports, as well as a standardized individual record file for program participants, called the Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data (WIASRD). States submit WIASRD to the ETA and include participant level information on customer demographics, type of services received, and statutorily defined measures of outcomes. This ICR also covers customer satisfaction surveys related to the program.
Comments should be provided to the Office of Management and Budget by February 28, 2012.
The sixty-day notice for this collection appeared in the September 26, 2012 FEDERAL REGISTER.
EDA Publishes FY 2012 Annual Report to Congress on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program
The Economic Development Administration has published the FY 2012 Annual Report to Congress on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program. The TAAF program supports a national network of 11 independent non-profit or university-affiliated TAACs to help U.S. manufacturing, production, and service firms in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Firms work with the TAACs to apply for certification of eligibility for TAAF assistance, and prepare and implement strategies to guide their economic recovery.
The report finds that, two years after completing the program in FY 2010, participating firms experienced an average employment increase of 13.2 percent, an average sales increase of 26.8 percent, and an average productivity increase of 11.9 percent. For the sake of comparing TAAF-assisted firms to non-assisted similar firms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in FY 2012, the manufacturing industry as a whole experienced an average employment increase of only 3.5 percent and an average productivity increase of 4.1 percent from FY 2010.
In September 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported to Congress that the effect of participation by import-impacted U.S. firms in the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program was an increase in firm sales ranging from 5 to 6 percent on average,'' and that ``the effect of the program on productivity was about a 4 percent increase.' GAO also noted in the report that manufacturing firms, specifically, associate the TAAF program with increased sales and productivity.
Policy to Performance Toolkit: Transitioning Adults to Opportunity
The Policy to Performance project, conducted from 2009 to 2012 with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, was designed to advance state activities in systems and policy development to facilitate adults' transition from adult basic education (ABE) to postsecondary education, training, and employment. State ABE staff and their interagency partners from eight states participated in Policy to Performance and received technical assistance about ABE state systems and policy development through national meetings, customized coaching, and telephone and email communication. The technical assistance included strategies and tools for state ABE staff to use in working with their interagency partners to align services and policies that would result in a coherent set of activities for a well-functioning state ABE transition system.
The Policy to Performance Toolkit is designed to provide state adult education staff and key stakeholders with guidance and tools to use in developing, implementing, and monitoring state policies and their associated practices that support effective state ABE to postsecondary transition systems. The Policy to Performance Toolkit is based on the processes and findings from the Policy to Performance Project. The tools and practices utilized in the project were compiled into a comprehensive and interactive Toolkit that provides users with guidance and strategies for strengthening existing or developing new ABE state transition (STET) The Policy to Performance Toolkit offers users downloadable resources and writable tools, as well as provides examples of how participating states applied the tools and processes discussed in the Toolkit.
The Toolkit is organized to assist state adult education staff in analyzing current ABE transition activities, determining the gaps in their current transition policies and practices, and reframing existing policies or developing new policies to advance low-skilled adults' transition to postsecondary education, training, and employment. Users of the Policy to Performance Toolkit may want to form a working group of state staff from within and outside of adult education to guide the transition system building activities described in the Toolkit.
Labor Market Information Improvement Grants: ETA Announces Availability of Product Catalogue
The Employment and Training Administration has prepared a draft American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grantee Product Catalogue. This document provides summaries and links to all of the work produced under the State Labor Market Information (LMI) Improvement Grants. (The product list is not complete, and ETA will update this catalogue as we receive more product information.)
Please click here for additional background information and access to the Catalogue.
Department of Energy Invites Comments on Liquefied Natural Gas Export Cumulative Impact Study; Offers Estimates on Industrial Output and Employment
The Department of Energy has provided notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER of the availability of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export cumulative impact study (LNG Export Study) in various proceedings and invites the submission of initial and reply comments regarding the LNG Export Study. DOE commissioned the LNG Export Study to inform DOE's decisions on applications seeking authorization to export LNG from the lower-48 states to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries.
The Department notes, in part:
How increased LNG exports will affect different socio-economic groups will depend on their income sources. Like other trade measures, LNG exports will cause shifts in industrial output and employment and in sources of income. Overall, both total labor compensation and income from investment are projected to decline, and income to owners of natural gas resources will increase.
Different socio-economic groups depend on different sources of income, though through retirement savings an increasingly large number of workers share in the benefits of higher income to natural resource companies whose shares they own. Nevertheless, impacts will not be positive for all groups in the economy. Households with income solely from wages or government transfers, in particular, might not participate in these benefits.
Serious competitive impacts are likely to be confined to narrow segments of industry. About 10% of U.S. manufacturing, measured by value of shipments, has both energy expenditures greater than 5% of the value of its output and serious exposure to foreign competition. Employment in industries with these characteristics is about one-half of one percent of total U.S. employment.
LNG exports are not likely to affect the overall level of employment in the U.S. There will be some shifts in the number of workers across industries, with those industries associated with natural gas production and exports attracting workers away from other industries. In no scenario is the shift in employment out of any industry projected to be larger than normal rates of turnover of employees in those industries.
Initial comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the "Public Comment Procedures" portion of the notice later than January 24, 2013. Reply comments are to be filed using the same procedures and will be accepted for filing from January 25, 2013 until February 25, 2013.
HUD Awards Funding to Cincinnati, San Antonio, Seattle and Tampa to Revitalize Neighborhoods
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that four communities will receive a combined $108.9 million to redevelop distressed housing and bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas.
HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) will help transform distressed communities in Cincinnati, Ohio; San Antonio, Tex.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla. This landmark initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. The $108.9 million federal investment of Choice Neighborhoods has generated $393 million in private investments and commitments from local jurisdictions and partners, a more than 300 percent leveraging.
Department of Education Seeks Comments on the (1) State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and (2) State Supported Employment Services Program
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires each state to submit to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) a State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program, and the State Supported Employment (SE) Services program, that meets requirements of Sections 101(a) and 625 of the Act. Program funding is contingent on Department of Education’s approval of the State Plan and its supplement.
The Department of Education today announced it is seeking public comment on the extension (without change) of this information collection.
Comments are due by January 11, 2012.
Click here for the notice.
HHS/AF/OCSE Seeks Comments on Computer Matching Programs to Provide New Hires Information to State Agencies Administering Unemployment Compensation and TANF
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Office of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families has published notices of two computer matching programs:
The first is between HHS/ACF/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and state agencies administering the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program. HHS/ACF invites interested parties to review, submit written data, comments, or arguments to the agency about the matching program until January 11, 2013.
The purpose of the matching program is to provide new hire and quarterly wage (QW) information from OCSE''s National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) to state agencies administering UC programs for the purpose of establishing or verifying the eligibility of, or continuing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by, applicants for, or recipients of, UC benefits. The State Agencies administering the UC programs may also use the NDNH information for the administration of its tax compliance function. Click here for the full notice
The second is between HHS/ACF/OCSE and state agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. HHS/ACF invites interested parties to review, submit written data, comments, or arguments to the agency about the matching program until January 11, 2013.
The purpose of this matching program is to provide new hire, quarterly wage (QW), and unemployment insurance (UI) information from OCSE's National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) to state agencies administering TANF for the purpose of verifying the eligibility of adult TANF recipients and applicants and, if ineligible, to take such action as may be authorized by law and regulation. The State Agencies may also use the NDNH information for the purpose of updating the applicants and recipients' reported participation in work activities and updating contact information maintained by the state agencies administering TANF. Click here for the full notice.
HUD Seeks Comments on the Evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Operating at Public Housing Authorities
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking public comment on its study under contract with MDRC and its subcontractors (Branch Associates and M. Davis and Company, Inc.) to evaluate the Family Self-Sufficiency Program operated at Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) across the U.S. This study will use random-assignment methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
HUD notes, in part:
"The (evaluation) intent is to gain a deeper understanding of the program and illustrate strategies that assist participants to obtain greater economic independence. While the main objective of FSS is stable, suitable employment, there are many interim outcomes of interest, which include: Getting a first job; getting a higher paying job; self-employment/small business ownership; no longer needing benefits provided under one or more welfare programs; obtaining additional education, whether in the form of a high school diploma, higher education degree, or vocational training; buying a home; buying a car; setting up savings accounts; or accomplishing similar goals that lead to economic independence."
Comments are due by February 8, 2013.
The December 10, 2012 FEDERAL REGISTER notice can be found here.
Department to Publish Final Tribal Consultation Policy
The Department of Labor will publish in the Federal Register next week its finalized tribal consultation policy, which establishes a formal process through which the department will engage in consultation with federally recognized tribes on actions or policies that will have a significant impact on tribal nations. This policy requires that the department's government-to-government consultation with the federally recognized tribes involve appropriate tribal and department officials.
The final policy will be published during the week of December 3, 2012 A copy can be viewed at
ETA Publishes "Thirty Day" Notices for "Jobs for Veterans State Grants" and "Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed"
The Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers funds for multi-year Jobs for Veterans State Grants given to each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam on an annual basis on a fiscal year cycle. VETS has published the thirty-day notice for its information collections in support of this grant program. Comments are due by December 31, 2012. The sixty-day notice was published on September 27, 2012.
This information collection is used to facilitate the identification of required programmatic and financial data provided by States requesting and expending funds and for monitoring the grants, making quarterly adjustments and reporting results to Congress. The use of program-specific standard formats helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in a uniform way, reporting burdens are minimized, the impact of collection requirements on respondents are properly assessed, collection instruments are clearly understood by respondents, and the information is easily consolidated for posting in accordance with statutory requirements. Reporting instruments under this ICR are: Manager's Report on Services to Veterans and Forms VETS-201, VETS-401, VETS-402A, VETS-501, and VETS-601.
The Employment and Administration has published the thirty-day notice for the information collection "Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed." Comments are due by December 31, 2012. The sixty-day notice was published on August 13, 2012.
The Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed Report, Form ETA-203, is a once a month snapshot of the demographic composition of the claimant population. The information is based in each State on the universe or a sample of those who file a claim in the week containing the 19th of the month, which reflects unemployment experienced during the week containing the 12th. This corresponds with the Current Population Survey sample week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aggregate data is collected on the items gender, race/ethnic group, age, industry, and occupation. This report is the only source of current, consistent demographic information (age, race/ethnic, sex, occupation, industry) on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimant population. These characteristics identify important claimant cohorts for legislative, economic and social planning purposes, and evaluation of the UI program on the Federal and State levels.