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ETA Occasional Papers

As of 2003, the new ETA Research and Evaluation Reports incorporates into a single series the occasional papers from the Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research; Unemployment Insurance; and Office of Workforce Security. ETA publications on research, pilots, demonstrations, and evaluations can be searched and downloaded from this website or requested online. You can also find papers published before or in 2002 in this series.

Archives:

Workforce Security Research Publications
Workforce security research publications provide workers and employers with information on a variety of issues, including Unemployment Insurance, Employment Service (Wagner-Peyser Act) topics, and One-Stop career centers.

Policy and Research Publications
Publications from the Office of Policy and Research provide information on major worker groups--youth, adult, aging baby boomers, the homeless, employers, and others.

ETA Occasional Papers

  • 2005-05:The Next Generation of Workforce Development Project: A Six-State Policy Academy to Enhance the Connections Between Workforce and Economic Development Policy

    This report describes the results and lessons learned from Policy Academies in six states. The States of Idaho, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia sought to help policy makers cope with problems of global competition. The states learned to promote effective economic development strategies and link economic development policies with workforce development policies. The report by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices includes federal policy recommendations and an overview of cluster-based economic development approaches.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2005-04:Trend and Cycle Analysis of Unemployment Insurance and the Employment Service.

    This report traces historical developments in two major DOL programs: State Unemployment Insurance (UI) and the federal-state Employment Service (ES). Developments in the UI program are traced from the late 1940s while ES program activities are traced from the late 1960s. For both programs, the report emphasizes long term trends as well as changes that have occurred over the course of the business cycle. The analysis uses annual data and is conducted at three levels of geographic detail: national, regional and state. A major objective of the project was to create data files useful for other researchers in studying the UI and ES programs. For both programs, data were assembled to be delivered to DOL and for transmission to archival repositories such as the Employment Data Center at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Key deliverables for the project were spreadsheets with state, regional and national detail that span extended time periods since World War II.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2005-03:The Effects of Customer Choice: First Findings from the Individual Training Account Experiment

    The Individual Training Account (ITA) experiment tested three approaches to the administration of training vouchers, or ITAs, for customers of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs. The first (Approach 1) was a highly structured approach in which customers could receive generous, customized ITA awards but were directed to training expected to yield a high return on the investment in which counselors could reject customers' training selections. At the other end of the spectrum, Approach 3 was a "true voucher" approach in which customers were awarded a modest-value, fixed ITA and allowed to opt out of counseling if they so desired. In the middle of the spectrum, the experiment tested Approach 2, which resembled the policies that workforce agencies were likely to adopt without the experiment. Customers assigned to this approach were awarded the same fixed ITA as under Approach 3 and were required to participate in counseling as they made their training decisions. This report presents preliminary findings from the evaluation of the ITA experiment.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2005-02:The Evaluation of the Individual Training Account / Eligible Training Provider Demonstration

    The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 requires that, with certain exceptions, training services be delivered through the use of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), which participants can use to procure the training of their choice, so long as the training program is on a state's eligible training provider (ETP) list. In March 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor made grant awards to thirteen states and local areas as part of the ITA/ETP Demonstration, to provide support for ITA and ETP system development and encourage innovative approaches and practices. This report presents findings from the evaluation of these grantees' efforts. As such, it describes the grantees' accomplishments with their grant funds, the ITA policies and practices they formulated, how ETP lists were assembled, and what information was available about eligible programs that customers could use to make their training choices.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2005-01:The Workforce Investment Act in Eight States

    This report concludes a two-year study of workforce service delivery in eight states, sixteen local areas, and more than thirty local One-Stop Career Centers operating under the auspices of the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 (Public Law 105-220). The purpose of this study is to provide useful information for both national policymakers in the Executive Branch and Congress for WIA and related reauthorizations (e.g., Perkins, TANF) and for program administrators and policy researchers. The research has been designed to enhance understanding of the way workforce service delivery has been operating across the country. Findings are organized according to five major topics which the study addressed: (1) leadership, including the role of employers and the private sector; (2) system administration and funding; (3) organization and operation of One-Stop Career Centers; (4) service orientation and mix; and (5) the use of market mechanisms such as the Eligible Training Provider (ETP) list, performance standards, and Individual Training Accounts (ITAs).
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2004-08:Personal Reemployment Accounts: Simulations for Planning Implementation

    The proposed Back to Work Incentive Act of 2003 recommended personal reemployment accounts (PRA) that would provide each eligible UI (unemployment insurance) claimant with a special account of up to $3,000 to finance reemployment activities. Account funds could be used to purchase intensive, supportive, and job training services. Any funds remaining in the PRA could be paid as a cash bonus for reemployment within 13 weeks, or drawn as extended income maintenance for exhaustees of regular UI benefits. Personal reemployment account offers would be targeted to UI beneficiaries most likely to exhaust their UI entitlements using state Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) models. The draft legislation called for a budget of $3.6 billion for PRAs, with the money to be committed over a two-year period. This report provides a simulation analysis of questions relevant to implementation of PRAs by states. The analysis is done using data for the state of Georgia. Simulations rely on recent patterns of intensive, supportive and training services use. Simulations for alternative rules setting the PRA amount and varying behavioral responses are examined. Like the legislative proposal, simulated PRA offers are targeted using WPRS models. The key question examined is, how many PRA offers can a state make given a fixed budget? Proposed and alternative rules for sub-state budget allocation are also examined. The framework presented in this paper allows the exploration of several behavioral responses to incentives created by the PRA.

    This report is one of two studies that ETA funded to learn more about possible ways to design and operate a PRA program. The other report is Occasional Paper 2004-04- What Can We Expect Under Personal Reemployment Accounts? Predictions and Procedures.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2004-07:The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration-Initial Post-Intervention Impacts

    This report is the second in a series of three impact reports of a youth mentoring/drop-out prevention program demonstration for youth at risk of entering the workforce without the technical and work-readiness skills that are demanded by the business community of their entry-level employees. The primary goals of the demonstration were to increase the high school graduation rate and the rate at which youth enroll in postsecondary education or training. Eligible youth could participate in the program for up to five years, were matched with a youth mentor, and could engage in a range of extracurricular educational and recreational activities.

    The latest findings reveal that participation in the program did not increase the likelihood of completing high school with either a diploma or a General Equivalency Degree. On the other hand, the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP) significantly increased the likelihood of ever engaging in postsecondary education or training. In particular, younger youth who participated in QOP significantly increased their likelihood of attending postsecondary education or training, a finding that was largely attributable to increased college attendance. Youth who did not participate in QOP were more likely to have a job and work at least 35 hours per week, reflecting the fact that QOP youth were more likely to be enrolled in college or engaged in some other postsecondary education or training activity.

    The third and final report in this series will include impacts approximately five years after youth were scheduled to complete high school, and should be available in early 2006.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2004-06:Business as Partner and Customer under WIA: A Study of Innovative Practices

    This report documents observations and findings from the Evaluation of the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), including efforts to better engage employers in all aspects of workforce development. It outlines several local areas' efforts to more effectively meet the employment-related needs of both job seekers and businesses by making the business community the One-Stop system's primary customer.

    Key practices that effectively involve businesses in all aspects of One-Stop operations through partnerships and the use of business services, including innovative new partnerships with Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies, are highlighted as are examples of effective practices for recruiting and retaining active and able business members on their Workforce Investment Boards. The paper also describes crucial elements for forging successful business partnerships, practices for providing high-quality business services, strategies to ensure that business involvement is successful overall, and, finally, suggestions from local sites for changing the Workforce Investment Act and related workforce development programs.

    This is a companion to ETA Occasional Paper 2004-05: The Workforce Investment Act After Five Years: Results from the National Evaluation of the Implementation of WIA, which describes the workforce investment system's progress and challenges in streamlining services through increased integration, universal access, individual empowerment via personal choice, state and local flexibility, performance accountability, engagement of the private sector and improvement of youth programs.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2004-05:The Workforce Investment Act after Five Years: Results from the National Evaluation of the Implementation of WIA

    This paper presents observations and findings from the Evaluation of the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). It describes the workforce investment system's progress and challenges in streamlining services through increased integration, universal access, individual empowerment via personal choice, state and local flexibility, performance accountability, engagement of the private sector and improvement of youth programs. It also captures information on a range of additional topics, including: WIA governance structures, partnership development and services to special populations, specifically, migrant farmworkers, the homeless, and limited-English speakers.

    The challenge of developing information systems for managing multiple programs and conducting monitoring and oversight of those programs is described in detail with suggestions for program administration. Outcome data for those served under the Job Training Partnership Act are compared to outcome data for those served by the revised programs under the Workforce Investment Act, with participant characteristics and services summarized and analyzed. The report highlights the monumental achievements that resulted in a "nationwide network of physical access points but also remote access to a wide array of workforce-related resources and tools." Finally, it includes an assessment of the changes proposed by the Administration for consideration during WIA reauthorization discussions and correlates these proposed changes to the ongoing challenges faced by local areas.

    This paper is the companion to ETA Occasional Paper 2004-06: Business as Partner and Customer under WIA: A Study of Innovative Practices, which describes efforts to better engage employers in all aspects of workforce development and is another in the ETA Occasional Paper series.
    Final Report               Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2004-04:What Can We Expect Under Personal Reemployment Accounts? Predictions and Procedures

    On January 7, 2003, President Bush unveiled his economic stimulus plan, which included the proposed establishment of Personal Reemployment Accounts (PRAs). The goal of PRAs is to provide unemployed workers who are likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits with additional assistance and incentives to help them get back to work sooner. This study addresses important questions and issues to consider for implementing Personal Reemployment Account (PRAs). As a result, it can serve as a useful tool for ETA staff and state and local administrators. This study draws on research from a variety of sources to address issues related to implementation of the proposed PRAs. It addresses three broad questions about PRAs: (1) What are the likely impacts of the reemployment bonus feature of the PRAs on the recipients?; (2) How could states and local areas set the amount and decide who would receive an offer?; and (3) What procedures could local areas use to offer the PRAs and manage and monitor the use of the accounts?
    Final Report               PDF Format

  • 2004-03:The Workforce Investment Act in Eight States: State Case Studies from a Field Network Evaluation: Volume Two

    This second volume of a two-volume set of state case studies is the result of eighteen months of work by the project's researchers to understand how states and localities interpreted and operationalized the provisions of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The project took a close look at the orientation, governance, structure, and services of the workforce investment systems in eight states, and two local areas in each state, to provide information for the reauthorization of WIA. Field researchers in each state conducted a series of interviews with members of state and local boards and their staff, state and local elected officials and their staff, state agency officials responsible for workforce development and welfare programs, service providers, advocates, and other interested parties. Researchers also studied sample One-Stop Career Centers in each state. The case studies for four states - Florida, Indiana, Texas and Utah - are included in this volume.

  • 2004-02:The Workforce Investment Act in Eight States: State Case Studies from a Field Network Evaluation: Volume One

    This first volume of a two-volume set of state case studies is the result of eighteen months of work by the project's researchers to understand how states and localities interpreted and operationalized the provisions of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The project took a close look at the orientation, governance, structure, and services of the workforce investment systems in eight states, and two local areas in each state, to provide information for the reauthorization of WIA. Field researchers in each state conducted a series of interviews with members of state and local boards and their staff, state and local elected officials and their staff, state agency officials responsible for workforce development and welfare programs, service providers, advocates, and other interested parties. Researchers also studied sample One-Stop Career Centers in each state. The case studies for four states - Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon - are included in this volume.

  • 2004-01:Internet Initial Claims Evaluation

    Over the past five years, 33 State Workforce Agencies have implemented systems which allow unemployed workers to file their initial unemployment insurance claim over the internet. In addition to providing unemployed workers with extended hours of access, these systems have reduced administrative costs and provided a more convenient service method for unemployed workers to file an unemployment insurance initial claim. Policymakers chose to evaluate state Internet UI claim filing systems, with a focus on service delivery, security, fraud and abuse controls, and cost effectiveness.
    Final Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2003-08:Creating Partnerships for Workforce Investment: How Services Are Provided Under WIA

    The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 was the first major overhaul of the nation's workforce development system in more than 15 years. Among other things, the legislation expanded opportunity for public and private entities to deliver employment and training services through the public workforce investment system. This study explores local workforce investment system variation and how local boards use non-profit, for-profit, educational, and governmental agencies to deliver WIA services. Study findings are based on case studies of sixteen local boards across eight states conducted between December 2001 and September 2002.
    Final Report        Final Report Appendices        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2003-07:Exemplary Practices in High-Skill-U.S. Department of Labor H-1B Training Programs

    A major provision of the Competitive and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 was funding for demonstration programs and projects that provide technical skills training for U.S. workers in an attempt to increase the pool of Americans with the skills necessary to fill high-tech jobs. This report provides an assessment of six of the 43 projects funded in the first three rounds of competition awarded in 2000.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2003-06:A Compilation of Selected Papers from the Employment and Training Administration's 2003 Biennial National Research Conference

    This book contains selected papers from the 2003 Biennial Research Conference held in Washington, DC, in early June, 2003. The papers cover a wide range of topics from front-line decision support and worker profiling to faith-based services and workforce investment programs for former welfare recipients.
    Full Report        PDF Format

  • 2003-05:The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration: Implementation and Short-Term Impact Reports (2003)

    These reports document the implementation challenges sites experienced in operating the Quantum Opportunity Program and also reveal the short-term impacts on the primary goals of increasing high school completion and enrollment in post-secondary education or training.
    Abstract and Questions & Answers

    Implementation Findings: Full Report Executive Summary PDF Format
    Short-Term Impacts: Full Report Executive Summary PDF Format
    Implementation and Short-Term Impacts: Full Report Executive Summary PDF Format


  • 2003-04:Working with Disadvantaged Youth: Thirty Month Findings from the Center for Employment Training Replication Sites

    In the early 1990s, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided funds for the Center for Employment Training (CET) to provide technical assistance to other organizations interested in replicating the CET model. This study examines the experiences of youth in twelve CET sites: six in eastern states and the Midwest begun as part of the DOL-sponsored replication effort and six western programs operated as part of CET's service network. This report summarizes the implementation findings and presents initial impact findings based on a random assignment research design and a survey conducted 30 months after application to CET.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2003-03:The Workforce Investment Act in Eight States: Overview of Findings from a Field Network Study

    This interim evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 examines the national goals, roles of federal, state and local partners and implementation of the law in eight states - Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Its purpose is to provide well-timed information to the U.S. Department of Labor and other public agencies, organizations and experts on what is happening now in the administration and delivery of publicly-funded workforce development services. The evaluation project is under the direction of Richard P. Nathan, Director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government. The principal authors of the report are Burt S. Barnow and Christopher T. King. The report contains a condensed analysis of extensive field research that looks across the eight study states and examines how public policy was carried out. Later, findings from the state reports will be published along with a full and detailed crosscutting comparative analysis.
    Full Report                          PDF Format

  • 2003-02:Profiling UI Claimants to Allocate Reemployment Services: Evidence and Recommendations for States

    This report develops and applies a state of the art methodology for constructing or modifying statistical profiling models for the allocation of reemployment services that states can apply to their own data. This report also provides substantive guidance on model development and modification to states based on our analysis of UI data form the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2003-01:Unemployment Insurance Non-Monetary policies and Practices: How Do They Affect Program Participation? A Study of 8 States

    This report explores the relationship between non-monetary eligibility policies and practices and program outcomes, such as recipiency and benefit duration. Information is collected on state non-monetary eligibility legislation, policies, and practices for unemployment insurance (UI) programs in a sample of states to document across-state variation that may affect UI recipiency. Research indicates that much of the state-level variation is due to policies, practices, and processes that are not easily captured by administrative data. Thus, many of the questions explored during site visits to eight states focus on how UI operates at the ground level and how variation in UI operations helps explain some of the variation in program outcomes across states.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-09:Evaluation of the Significant Improvement Demonstration Grants for the Provision of Reemployment Services for UI Claimants

    Early reviews of the WPRS systems suggested ways to improve states' systems, such as updating profiling models more often, intensifying services, and better coordination among UI, Employment Services (ES), and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs. Acting on these suggestions, ETA awarded Significant Improvement Demonstration Grants (SIGs) in June 1999 to 11 states (Alaska, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). The two-year SIGs were intended to increase the effectiveness of WPRS systems and reemployment services for UI claimants. Further grant goals were to help shape future policy and to support implementation of the WIA. This final report describes findings from data collection activities conducted during 2000 and 2001.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-07:Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of the Work First Profiling Pilot Project

    This report describes a new assessment and referral system that was designed to assist local welfare-to-work program staff in targeting employment services more effectively in order to help welfare recipients find jobs.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-06:Youth Offender Demonstration Project Process Evaluation (Final Report)

    The goal of the process evaluation was to document the implementation process of the projects, noting achievements and challenges as project staff attempted to deliver integrated services to the target population. To the extent possible, the evaluation also was to report the outcomes of the projects' efforts to transition youth offenders and youth at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile and criminal justice systems to full-time employment at livable wages in positions with career potential.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-05:One-Stop Innovations: Leading Change Under the WIA One-Stop System

    The purpose of this study is to identify, document widely disseminate - via the Internet and other appropriate mechanisms - success stories and promising practices of One-Stop Career center across the country operating under the Workforce Investment Act.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-04:The Impact of the Targeted Harmonized Wage Code on Unemployment Insurance

    This report on the Impact of the Targeted Harmonized Wage Code on Unemployment Insurance was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-03:Left Out of the Boom Economy: UI Recipients in the Late 1990s

    This study examines the characteristics, labor market experiences, and UI and reemployment service receipt of UI recipients who began collecting UI benefits in 1998. The objective is to gauge the extent to which recent changes in the U.S. labor market have affected the composition of UI recipients who exhaust benefits and to examine their postexhaustion labor market behavior. A further objective is to examine recipients' experiences with the delivery of reemployment services and determine whether changes in the workforce development system have affected these experiences.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-02:Low Benefit Recipiency in State Unemployment Insurance Programs

    This report examines the following question: Why does the receipt of unemployment insurance(UI) benefits vary so widely across individual states within the United States? Especially strong interest centers on states where UI recipiency has been and remains very low. To the extent that research on this question is successful, it will improve our understanding of this phenomenon and will identify changes that could increase UI recipiency rates.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

  • 2002-01:Comprehensive Assessment of Self-Employment Assistance Programs

    This report on Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Programs catalogs the eight state programs that were established between 1995 and 1999 and presents participant outcomes that were collected through a survey of former participants.
    Full Report        Executive Summary                  PDF Format

The National Job Corps Study

  • Summary of the National Job Corps Study

    The Employment and Training Administration is slated to end its ten year evaluation of the National Job Corps Study at the end of June 2003. In June 2001, the Employment and Training Administration released the National Job Corps Study's cost benefit and longer term impact reports. These studies reported that: Job Corps makes a meaningful difference in participants' educational attainment and earnings; The gains from Job Corps are found across most groups of students and types of settings; and the value of Job Corps' benefits exceeds its costs. The data on which these reports are based are now available to the general public and interested researchers through the public use-data set.

    Full Report: [Click Here] to view                   PDF Format

Research on Reemployment Services and Worker Profiling