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Amid the COVID-19 Crisis, a Tale of Two Cities
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in both a major public health crisis and a major economic crisis. The economic impact is coming primarily via social distancing (or stay-in-place) restrictions that have resulted in the temporary closing of nonessential businesses in many parts of the country. As a result, millions of workers have been laid off or furloughed. Unemployment claims for the week ending March 21 totaled more than 3 million—the highest number of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the series at that time. That record was broken quickly. For the week ending March ...
Promising Workforce Development Approaches
On November 9, 2018, at the New York Fed, three expert panels discussed promising approaches to investing in workforce development as part of the launch of the three-volume book Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers. Read highlights from the discussions below.
What Works at Scale? A Framework to Scale Up Workforce Development Programs
Workforce development policymakers have access to a growing catalog of training programs evaluated with rigorous randomized controlled trials. This evidence base identifies programs that work in specific geographic and temporal contexts but may not necessarily work in other contexts or at a scale sufficient to meet regional workforce needs. The author examines a sample of recent randomized controlled trials of workforce development programs and reports to what extent this body of evidence informs policymakers about what works at scale. The author finds that most programs are implemented at a ...
Benefits Cliffs and the Financial Incentives for Career Advancement: A Case Study of the Health Care Services Career Pathway
Benefits cliffs, which occur when earnings gains are offset by the loss of public benefits, have long been recognized to create financial disincentives for low-income individuals to earn more income. In this paper, the authors develop a new methodology to study benefits cliffs in the context of career advancement. The authors illustrate the change in net financial resources for an individual pursuing the health care services career pathway from certified nursing assistant (CNA) to licensed practical nurse (LPN) to registered nurse (RN). Accounting for increases in taxes and the loss of public ...
Benefits Cliffs as a Barrier to Career Advancement for Low-Income Adults: Insights from Employment Services Providers
How do employment service providers explain benefits cliffs to clients who want to advance in their careers? To answer this question, the authors conducted three focus groups with a range of employment service providers. Focus group participants report that counselors and clients struggle to manage benefits loss because of a lack of clarity on program rules and difficulty finding appropriate jobs that pay enough to outweigh the loss of benefits. When advising clients about career advancement, counselors use a range of intake processes to determine clients’ immediate needs and assess their ...