Preliminary Analysis of Illinois' Subsidized Jobs Program Provides Valuable Insight

Oct 22, 2010

By Elizabeth Kenefick

Put Illinois to Work (PITW) program was the largest adult subsidized jobs program created under the TANF Emergency Fund with about 27,000 low-income people participating. They collectively earned about  $107 million.

The Social Impact Research Center at Heartland Alliance released these statistics in a preliminary analysis.1 The other findings:

  • The average length of unemployment before PITW was 15.4 months.
  • 32 percent report that their household had no income in the month prior to entering PITW.
  • Average monthly household income (including both earned and unearned income) was $710, which translates to $8,520 a year, well below the poverty threshold for any size family.
  • PITW has generated nearly $13.6 million in federal income, Medicare, and Social Security taxes and more than $2.7 million in state income tax.
  • The 4,280 employers participating in PITW included for-profit corporations (42 percent), nonprofits (31 percent), individuals/self-employed persons (16 percent).
  • PITW employers were primarily small businesses. Two-thirds of worksites had fewer than 15 employees before involvement in PITW, and more than 90 percent had fewer than 100 employees.
  • 28 percent of PITW employers report that their business was financially unhealthy or very unhealthy before PITW. Fifty-seven percent report that the financial health of their business was better or somewhat better following participation in PITW.


[1] The report states that the data is not complete.  It comes from three sources and "all program and participant data reflect a cutoff date of September 11, and data from surveys reflect only those received by September 30.  This report was being written while PITW was still operating and while data collection and integrity efforts - both by the program itself and by the evaluation team - were still taking place.  Therefore, all data are subject to change."

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