As discussed above, in theory both employment- and education-focused programs can lead to impacts on measures of employment stability and earnings growth. Participants in employment-focused programs are expected to start working quickly and acquire valuable skills and experience on the job that lead to employment stability and advancement. In contrast, education-focused programs aim to increase job-related skills and education credentials before employment, thereby helping people to obtain stable and high-paying jobs. Table 4.2 shows the effects of the 11 programs on the proportion of sample members who worked in all four quarters of year 5, and the proportion who earned $10,000 or more in year 5. Appendix Table C.6 shows the effects of the programs on two related measures: whether sample members worked in 9 of the 12 quarters in years 3 to 5 and whether they experienced earnings growth during the follow-up period.(9)
Site and Program
|Sample Size||Program Group (%)||Control Group (%)||Difference (Impact)||Percentage Change (%)|
|Employed in all four quarters of year 5|
|Atlanta Labor Force Attachment||2,938||36.9||36.6||0.3||0.8|
|Atlanta Human Capital Development||2,992||36.5||36.6||-0.1||-0.3|
|Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment||3,012||39.4||38.7||0.7||1.7|
|Grand Rapids Human Capital Development||2,997||38.3||38.7||-0.4||-1.0|
|Riverside Labor Force Attachment||6,726||26.3||23.2||3.1 ***||13.5|
|Lacked high school diploma or basic skills||3,125||23.1||18.8||4.3 ***||22.9|
|Riverside Human Capital Development||3,135||21.6||18.8||2.7 *||14.5|
|Earned $10,000 or more|
|Atlanta Labor Force Attachment||2,938||25.7||25.0||0.6||2.6|
|Atlanta Human Capital Development||2,992||24.8||25.0||-0.2||-0.8|
|Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment||3,012||26.0||25.4||0.6||2.3|
|Grand Rapids Human Capital Development||2,997||25.3||25.4||-0.0||-0.1|
|Riverside Labor Force Attachment||6,726||18.6||16.6||2.0 **||12.2|
|Lacked high school diploma or basic skills||3,125||14.3||12.0||2.3 **||19.6|
|Riverside Human Capital Development||3,135||12.7||12.0||0.7||5.9|
|Columbus Integrated||4,672||34.1||31.6||2.5 *||7.9|
|SOURCE: MDRC calculations from state and county administrative records.
NOTES: See Appendix A.1.
In general, there is little indication that either the employment-focused or the education-focused programs improved stable employment or high earnings in year 5. Only three programs Riverside LFA, Riverside HCD, and Portland resulted in significantly more people working in all four quarters of year 5. Likewise, only three programs Riverside LFA, Columbus Integrated, and Portland resulted in significantly more people earning at least $10,000 in year 5. Moreover, effects for all programs were relatively small that is, less than 5 percentage points on these measures.
A slightly different pattern emerges when stable employment and earnings growth are measured over more years of follow-up. (See Appendix Table C.6.) All four employment-focused programs, but only two of seven education-focused programs led to an impact on the measure of stable employment during years 3 to 5. However, on the measure of earnings over time, only the Riverside LFA and Portland programs, along with the Riverside HCD program, led to increases over the control group. The Portland program led to the largest impacts on both outcomes, which helps explain why it continued to produce earnings impacts in the last years of follow-up.