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New Perspectives on Creating Jobs Final Impacts of the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs

Release Date

Nov 14, 2018

Publication Author(s)

  • MDRC
  • Bret Barden
  • Cindy Redcross
  • Dan Bloom
  • Mary Farrell
  • Randall Juras

Research Methodology

  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • RCT (Randomized Control Trial)


  • Adult

States & Territories

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin


New Perspectives on Creating Jobs - Final Impacts of the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs

The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) evaluation, funded by ETA and the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), tested seven enhanced transitional jobs programs that targeted either people recently released from prison or unemployed non-custodial parents who had fallen behind in child support payments. The programs were designed to help hard-to-employ individuals "learn to work by working," in order to improve their ability to get and hold unsubsidized jobs. Because the ETJD programs targeted noncustodial parents and recently incarcerated individuals, they also aimed to increase payment of child support and reduce recidivism, outcomes that may be tied to employment.

The evaluation used a random assignment research design. Program group members were enrolled in the ETJD programs while control group members were denied access but could avail themselves of other services in the community. This report presents the final impact results from the study 30 months after enrollment as well as information about the cost of the ETJD programs. Most outcome measures presented in the report focus on the final year of the follow-up period, when nearly all ETJD program group members had left their transitional jobs. The results therefore reflect longer-term effects of the programs after the subsidized jobs had ended. Findings include:

  • The ETJD programs increased participants' earnings and employment rates in the final year of the study period.
  • ETJD participants were significantly more likely to pay formal child support during the final year although ETJD programs did not produce statistically significant impacts on the amount of child support paid.
  • There is some evidence that ETJD programs affected some measures of recidivism however, overall, ETJD programs had no effects on criminal justice "events."
  • Despite the positive impacts, most sample members in both the program and control groups were still struggling in the labor market at the end of the study's follow-up period. Only about one-third of those who responded to the 30-month survey reported working more than 34 hours per week. Even ETJD participants probably need to develop substantially greater skills in order to obtain better-paying, more stable jobs.

Affiliation: MDRC with Abt Associates and MEF Associates

Authors: Bret Barden, Randall Juras, Cindy Redcross, Mary Farrell, Dan Bloom

Key Words: Transitional Jobs, subsidized jobs, formerly incarcerated, ex-offender, noncustodial parent, employment, hard-to-employ, work-based learning, job training skills, recidivism

Final Report