Study Details for:
Rangarajan, Anu, and Tim Novak (1999). The struggle to sustain employment: The effectiveness of the Postemployment Services Demonstration, final report, Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Human Services. [Chicago]

Study URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/the_struggle_to_sustain_employment.pdf (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Postemployment Services Demonstration (PESD)

Program Studied: Chicago PESD program
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

Strength of Evidence: 1-High High (3 of 3)

Populations Targeted Employed, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided Case management, Employment retention services, Job development/job placement, Supportive services, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Short-term employment, Long-term employment, Short-term earnings, Long-term earnings, Favorable Impacts FoundShort-term benefit receipt, Long-term benefit receipt

Findings

Toggle Short-term employmentShort-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Percentage employed, quarter 6, %
Adjusted mean = 62.8 Unadjusted mean = 59.4 3.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 1

Number of quarters employed, year 1
Adjusted mean = 2.8 Unadjusted mean = 2.7 0.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 1
Toggle Long-term employmentLong-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Percentage employed, quarter 8, %
Adjusted mean = 60.3 Unadjusted mean = 58.0 2.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 2

Number of quarters employed, year 2
Adjusted mean = 2.4 Unadjusted mean = 2.3 0.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 2
Toggle Short-term earningsShort-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, quarter 6, $
Adjusted mean = 1,766 Unadjusted mean = 1,634 132 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 2
Toggle Long-term earningsLong-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Earnings, quarter 8, $
Adjusted mean = 1,657 Unadjusted mean = 1,649 8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,545 UI records, year 2
Toggle Short-term benefit receiptShort-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Negative impact favors the treatment group.

Percentage of time received AFDC, year 1, %1
Adjusted mean = 74.6 Unadjusted mean = 78.5 -3.9 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 AFDC records, year 1

Monthly AFDC benefits, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 227 Unadjusted mean = 238 -11 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 AFDC records, year 1

Percentage of time received Food Stamps, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 79.6 Unadjusted mean = 81.9 -2.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 Food Stamps records, year 1

Monthly Food Stamps benefits, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 197 Unadjusted mean = 205 -8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 Food Stamps records, year 1
Toggle Long-term benefit receiptLong-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Percentage of time received AFDC, year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 58.7 Unadjusted mean = 60.7 -2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 AFDC records, year 2

Monthly AFDC benefits, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 169 Unadjusted mean = 179 -10 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 AFDC records, year 2

Percentage of time received Food Stamps, year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 67.8 Unadjusted mean = 67.3 0.5 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 Food Stamps records, year 2

Monthly Food Stamps benefits, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 171 Unadjusted mean = 173 -2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,540 Food Stamps records, year 2

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail On average, sample members were 30 years old. Most sample members were female (98 percent), and, on average, their households included two children, the younger of whom was approximately 5 years old. Approximately four-fifths of sample members were black non-Hispanic, and 10 percent were Hispanic. Approximately 43 percent of sample members had not, at the time of random assignment, completed high school or a GED. Three-quarters were required to participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program. About 82 percent received AFDC all of the year before random assignment, and 28 percent had been employed in the two quarters before random assignment.
Program Services Between spring 1994 and fall 1996, Illinois received waivers to its AFDC program and JOBS rules to provide additional case management services and financial support to newly employed welfare recipients. PESD case managers provided people enrolled in PESD with counseling and support, job search assistance, help with benefits, and service referrals tailored to the needs of individual recipients. The program also increased the amount of financial support available to newly employed welfare recipients for initial employment expenses and expanded the range of eligible expenses.
Program Duration The program expected to maintain contact with all clients during the first few months after they became employed and then expected the need for contact to decline. Case managers still had contact with about half of treatment group members one year after they became employed.
Comparison Services Sample members in the control group received the regular services available to employed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) welfare recipients in Illinois. The state indefinitely disregarded two-thirds of clients' earnings in calculating welfare eligibility; AFDC clients who earned $5 per hour and worked 30 hours per week received $150 per month in AFDC benefits. People in the control condition could receive assistance with initial employment expenses (up to $400) if they requested it within the first 30 days of employment.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation In Chicago, evaluators identified newly employed welfare recipients who had been referred to or participated in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) work promotion program between March 1994 and December 1995. The research team randomly assigned people to either the PESD group or to a control group. Among the 1,545 newly employed welfare recipients identified, 552 (35.7 percent) were randomly assigned to the treatment group. Researchers attempted to collect administrative records for every person in the study. They selected a random subsample of 428 newly employed welfare recipients who enrolled in the demonstration between July 1994 and August 1995 for a follow-up survey about one year after random assignment.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the control group mean (adjusted for unspecified baseline variables) plus the coefficient on the treatment variable. The authors report an unadjusted control group mean, which we include in this review, and the adjusted effect they calculated; this review presents the difference between the control group mean and the impact as the adjusted program group mean.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The study reports employment, earnings, and public benefit receipt outcomes for other months and quarters that are not the focus of this review.
Subgroups Studied None
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details Chicago, Illinois
Timing of Study Sample members enrolled in the demonstration between spring 1994 and December 1995, and the program operated until fall 1996.
Study Funding The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the study.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/the_struggle_to_sustain_employment.pdf