An MDRC evaluation of Moving Up, a program in South Carolina that aimed to help former welfare recipients obtain jobs, work more steadily, and move up in the labor market, found that the program had little effect on employment rates, earnings, employment retention, or advancement.
Evidence from a Sample of Recent CET Applicants
This working paper examines employment and earnings over a four-year period for a group of disadvantaged out-of-school youth who entered the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Training (CET) Replication Sites between 1995 and 1999. It assesses the importance of three key factors as barriers to employment: lack of a high school diploma, having children, and having an arrest record.
Final Report on the Center for Employment Training Replication Sites
The Center for Employment Training (CET) in San Jose, California, produced large, positive employment and earnings effects for out-of-school youth in the late 1980s. However, in this replication study, even the highest-fidelity sites did not increase employment or earnings for youth over the 54-month follow-up period, despite short-term positive effects for women.
An Update on the Effects of Four Earnings Supplement Programs on Employment, Earnings, and Income
Four programs that supplemented the earnings of low-income adults increased employment, earnings, and income — particularly for the most disadvantaged — but these effects generally faded after the programs ended.
Six-Year Impacts on Parents and Children from the Minnesota Family Investment Program
While positive effects on most parents’ earnings and income faded after six years, young children in some of the most disadvantaged families were still performing better in school than their counterparts in a control group. And, for the most disadvantaged parents, MFIP seems to have created a lasting “leg up” in the labor market.
Early results are mixed for Employment Retention and Advancement project programs in four sites, but programs in two sites appear to help some welfare recipients work more steadily and advance to higher-paying jobs.