National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Final Report. Employment During the Second Year

09/01/2004

Most enrollees were employed at some point during the second year after program entry. In 9 of the 11 sites, over 60 percent of enrollees held at least one job at some point during the second year (Exhibit IV.3). Not surprisingly given the relatively strong employment history of their target population, the two JHU sites exhibited the highest proportion of enrollees (about 85 percent) who held at least one job during the second year. At the opposite extreme stood Phoenix, which at 51 percent had the lowest proportion of enrollees employed during the second year.

Nevertheless, the proportion of enrollees who were employed at some point during the second year was lower than the proportion employed at some point during the first year after program entry in all of the study sites except Ft. Worth. For five of the sites, the proportion of enrollees who had some employment was at least 10 percentage points lower in the second year than in the first. The two sites that emphasized rapid job entry (Phoenix and Yakima) and the site that offered temporary subsidized employment (Philadelphia) exhibited especially large drops in the proportion of enrollees employed during the second year from that of the first year, with enrollees in Phoenix experiencing the greatest reduction of 16 percentage points. This may have occurred in part because individuals placed according to a rapid-entry strategy may not be matched to the best jobs, and those placed in temporary subsidized employment may not be able to find a job after the subsidized employment period ends.

While most enrollees were employed at some point during the second year following program entry, consistent employment throughout the year was not the norm. In six of the study sites, enrollees were employed only about 40 percent of the time, on average, during the second year after program entry (Appendix Exhibit B.2). Enrollees at the JHU sites exhibited the highest proportion of the year employed (71 percent for Baltimore County and 63 percent for St. Lucie County), while enrollees in Philadelphia and Phoenix had the lowest average proportion of time with a job (32 and 35 percent respectively).

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