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. [Riverside]

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: Riverside 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, Short-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 = 56.2 Unadjusted mean = 53.9 2.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 UI records, year 2

Number of quarters employed, year 1
Adjusted mean = 2.5 Unadjusted mean = 2.4 0.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 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 = 54.2 Unadjusted mean = 54.4 -0.2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 UI records, year 2

Number of quarters employed, year 2
Adjusted mean = 4.7 Unadjusted mean = 4.6 0.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 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 = 1,546 Unadjusted mean = 1,441 105 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 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 = 1,569 Unadjusted mean = 1,484 85 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,506 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

Percentage of time received AFDC, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 75.5 Unadjusted mean = 72.9 2.6 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,504 AFDC records, year 1

Monthly AFDC benefits, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 393 Unadjusted mean = 382 11 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,503 AFDC records, year 1

Percentage of time received Food Stamps, year 1, %
Adjusted mean = 68.9 Unadjusted mean = 66.2 2.7 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,504 Food Stamps records, year 1

Monthly Food Stamps benefits, year 1, $
Adjusted mean = 124 Unadjusted mean = 120 4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,502 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 = 49 Unadjusted mean = 49.3 -0.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,504 AFDC records, year 2

Monthly AFDC benefits, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 235 Unadjusted mean = 240 -5 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,497 AFDC records, year 2

Percentage of time received Food Stamps, year 2, %
Adjusted mean = 46.6 Unadjusted mean = 48.0 -1.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,504 Food Stamps records, year 2

Monthly Food Stamps benefits, year 2, $
Adjusted mean = 84 Unadjusted mean = 87 -3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full sample 1,494 Food Stamps records, year 2

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail On average, sample members were 32 years old. Approximately one-third were teenagers at the birth of their first child. Their households included two children, the younger of whom was approximately 6 years old. Approximately half of sample members were white non-Hispanic, and one-third were Hispanic. Approximately one-third of sample members had not, at the time of random assignment, completed high school or a GED. All were required to participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program. About 98 percent received AFDC all of the year before random assignment, and 21 percent had been employed in the two quarters before random assignment.
Program Services Between spring 1994 and fall 1996, California received waivers to its AFDC program and JOBS rules to provide additional case management services and financial support to newly employed welfare recipients in Riverside. 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 assigned to the control group received the regular services available to employed welfare recipients in California. In Riverside, because most AFDC recipients who found jobs remained eligible for AFDC, they had access to job search and other assistance available to AFDC recipients if they lost their job.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation In Riverside, 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. The research team randomly assigned people to either the PESD group or to a control group. Among the 1,506 newly employed welfare recipients identified, 500 (33.2 percent) were randomly assigned to the treatment group. Researchers attempted to collect administrative records for every person in the study.
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 Riverside, California
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