Subsidized Employment Helps Long-Term Unemployed Reconnect to Workforce

Sep 12, 2013

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Neil Ridley

Stimulating Opportunity, a new report from the Economic Mobility Corporation, highlights the role subsidized employment programs can play in reconnecting long-term unemployed workers to the workforce. This report examines in depth the experiences of workers and employers who participated in subsidized employment programs in five sites under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund. As CLASP documented, between 2009 and 2010, 39 states used TANF Emergency Funds to support subsidized employment opportunities for more than 260,000 workers.

Stimulating Opportunity finds that, even after the subsidy period has ended, subsidized employment can have a significant positive impact on low-income job seekers’ employment and earnings. These effects were largely concentrated among those job seekers who had been unemployed for more than six months prior to starting the program. While comparison group data was only available for one site, Florida, the pattern of employment in other sites appears consistent with these findings. This suggests that, in a period of limited resources, subsidized jobs programs may wish to target participants without recent work experience.


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