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ETA Releases NASWA Report: Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Jul 30, 2013

The Employment and Training Administration has announced the release of a new Occasional Paper –

Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Workforce Development and Unemployment Insurance Provisions

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) provided the workforce system with a large increase in resources to increase capacity, improve its structure, and provide additional economic support and services in response to the most recent recession. United States Department of Labor (USDOL) programs were a major part of the Recovery Act. At the time of the bill’s passage, USDOL Recovery Act funding was estimated at $66 billion, ranking third among Federal agencies. Actual USDOL funding was greater than the early estimates suggest, however, both because the recession was deeper and longer than anticipated, which increased the outflow of Unemployment Insurance (UI) funds, and in larger part because the UI provisions were extended numerous times in subsequent recession-era legislation.

The Recovery Act added $2.1 billion (an increase of about 77 percent) to the Department of Labor’s appropriations in program year 2009, to provide additional job search assistance, training, and other workforce services to eligible dislocated workers, disadvantaged adults, and other jobseeker. The Recovery Act investment in UI benefits and UI system improvements was much larger than the investment in workforce services. At the time of passage of the Recovery Act, UI outlays were estimated at $45 billion, but final estimates of UI outlays grew to $200 billion taking into account subsequent UI benefit extensions.

In the spring of 2009, the ETA awarded a grant to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies/Center for Employment Security Education and Research (NASWA/CESER) to support and expand its efforts to document the actions of the public workforce system under the Recovery Act. The purpose of this study was to provide intelligence to state and local workforce organizations on the situation then facing state workforce development agencies and programs, and the steps taken by states (and local workforce investment areas) to meet the challenges of Recovery Act implementation and the economic downturn. It also provides critically important information to policymakers and administrators about the implementation of the Recovery Act workforce development and UI provisions, and identifies potential needs for additional federal and state policies. This information will inform future state decisions in areas of policy formation and program improvements.

NASWA/CESER obtained this information through state surveys and structured fieldwork, summary profiles of state policies and actions, and a series of case studies to learn about how states assessed their situation, identified the actions they took, examined the potential for additional policies to be implemented, and addressed other issues as they arose.

This final report includes the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • State Approaches to the Recovery Act’s Workforce Development provisions
  • Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs
  • Wagner-Peyser Employment Services
  • Wagner-Peyser Act Reemployment Services
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Other Related Initiatives (LMI, Green Jobs, and Subsidized Employment)
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Data Analysis of the Implementation of the Recovery Act
  • Challenges and Accomplishments: States’ Views
Training and Employment Notice 01-13 provides addition background on the report and summarizes the findings.