The local economy can influence many aspects of a program, such as the choice of service strategies, operating expenses, and its ability to place participants in employment. However, differences in urbanicity and unemployment rates for the areas the WtW programs served were not strongly associated with differences in costs per placement, placement rates, or costs per participant across WtW programs (Table III.8).
The cost analysis periods examined were generally periods of relative prosperity, strong economic growth, and strong labor markets. Most of the WtW programs in the cost analysis operated in urban areas that, in 2000, had low unemployment, averaging 3.4 percent.(12) As expected, higher average unemployment rates for the WtW programs operating in rural areas suggested that these programs faced somewhat less prosperous economic conditions. However, these did not appear to lead to higher costs per placement for these programs. Despite serving a rural area with relatively high unemployment (10.6 percent), the Yakima programs achieved relatively high placement rates (50 to 73 percent) and thus, in general, more modest costs per placement ($4,829 to $8,762).
|WtW Programs, by Urbanicity of Service Delivery Area||Cost per Placement (in Dollars)||Placement Rate (Percent)||Cost per Participant (in Dollars)||Unemployment Rate (Percent) (a)||Average Starting Hourly Wage
|West Virginia-HRD||6,182||61||3,771||8.0 (b)||5.84|
|Note:NA = not available.
a. Average unemployment rate in 2000, by Metropolitan Statistical Area.
b. Average across 29 service counties, weighted by proportion of WtW participants from each county.