Study Details for:
Freedman, Stephen, Jean Knab, Lisa Gennetian, and David Navarro (2000). The Los Angeles Jobs-First GAIN evaluation: Final report on a work first program in a major urban center, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Two-parent households]

Study URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/los-angeles-jobs-first-gain-evaluation-final-report-on-a-work-first-program (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Los Angeles Jobs-First Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Evaluation

Program Studied: Jobs First— GAIN (Two-parent households)
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

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

Populations Targeted Parents, Welfare population
Setting Mixed (urban and rural)
Services Provided Education, Job development/job placement, Occupational or sectoral training, Training, Work experience, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term employment, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term earnings, Favorable Impacts FoundLong-term benefit receipt

Findings

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

Employed, quarters 6-9, %
Adjusted mean = 56.5 Adjusted mean = 49.0 7.5 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 UI records, year 2

Quarters employed, quarters 6-9
Adjusted mean = 1.8 Adjusted mean = 1.5 0.3 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 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, quarters 6-9, $
Adjusted mean = 5,095 Adjusted mean = 4,111 984 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 UI records, year 2
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
1 Negative impact is favorable.

Ever received AFDC/ TANF, quarters 6-9, %1
Adjusted mean = 73.6 Adjusted mean = 79.6 -6 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 AFDC/ TANF records, year 2

AFDC/ TANF amount, quarters 6-9, $1
Adjusted mean = 4,123 Adjusted mean = 4,885 -762 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 AFDC/ TANF records, year 2

Ever received Food Stamps, quarters 6-9, %1
Adjusted mean = 73.5 Adjusted mean = 79.7 -6.2 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 Food Stamps records, year 2

Food Stamps amount, quarters 6-9, $1
Adjusted mean = 1,696 Adjusted mean = 1,992 -296 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Unemployed parents 5,048 Food Stamps records, year 2

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail The analysis of parents from two-parent families focused on the primary wage earner (if a household was a married couple, the program required both parents to participate, and the study collected data on the parent who was the first to meet with program staff). Approximately 47 percent of sample members were female. Fewer than half (40 percent) had earned a high school diploma, GED, or college degree, and 86 percent were unemployed at the time of randomization. Sample members were predominantly Hispanic (46.7 percent) and white (28 percent); about a half (51.7 percent) demonstrated English proficiency. The average sample member was 36 years old and had two children.
Program Services Applicants to or recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) who were assigned to the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) group participated in a program strongly emphasizing a rapid return to work, even in low-wage positions. The program orientation reinforced this message through a six-hour motivational meeting. The program then provided job development activities, including three-week job clubs comprising classroom sessions focused on job application techniques and a supervised job search. Program officials also provided job development, vocational skills assessment, basic education, vocational training, or work experience, depending on the program member's needs.
Program Duration The initial job club took place over three weeks. Further job development services were available until the recipient found work and/or exited the welfare system.
Comparison Services Applicants to or recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) who were not assigned to the GAIN group could not participate in any GAIN-related activities and did not receive the strong work-first motivation. They did remain eligible to receive welfare and Food Stamps payments.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation Nearly 21,000 prospective AFDC clients in Los Angeles County who attended a program orientation at a county office from April 1 to September 11, 1996, and were not exempt were randomly assigned either to Jobs-First GAIN or to the control group. Exemptions were granted for disabling conditions, full-time employment, residence in a rural area with no access to services, or women in the second or later trimester of pregnancy. Both single parents and parents from two-parent households were included in the study; this review focuses on the sample of 5,058 parents from two-parent households. (The first parent in the household to attend the orientation was randomly assigned; the second parent was not included in the research sample.)
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the differences between the treatment group and control group means, adjusted for demographic characteristics, including earlier earnings and employment and earlier AFDC and Food Stamps benefit receipt.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The study presents quarterly employment, earnings, and benefit receipt outcomes in addition to months of benefit receipt for AFDC/ TANF and Food Stamps. It also presents average combined income.
Subgroups Studied Region, race, education level, length of time receiving welfare, employment status in previous year, "most disadvantaged" (long-term recipients who did not graduate from high school and did not work in the previous year)
Other Domains Examined Physical health; Housing; Nutrition; Family formation; Child wellbeing
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The program took place in Los Angeles County, California, through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
Timing of Study The Jobs First- GAIN program began in 1996 and concluded in 1999. This report estimates impacts after two years of follow-up.
Study Funding The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services commissioned the evaluation, with support from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ford Foundation.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/los-angeles-jobs-first-gain-evaluation-final-report-on-a-work-first-program