New Report on Job Search

Photo of a man circling an employment ad in a newspaper.The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation recently released a review of evidence on job search assistance programs. The report reviews research on the effectiveness of various job search methods and the components of job search assistance programs. It also provides an overview of current federal job search assistance programs. The report focuses on low-income and disadvantaged workers and heads of households. It was written by Abt Associates under contract to ACF.

Since most people have to look for a job in order to find one, effective job search methods are important.  Job search assistance programs—short-term, relatively low-intensity programs to help people find jobs—are a key component of many government-funded assistance programs. 

The report reviews evidence on different approaches, such as those based on:

  • Assistance: Helping motivated job seekers in their search or teaching them job search skills
  • Enforcement: Inducing job seekers to search for or accept job offers through the possibility of sanctions such as reductions in government benefits

While there is evidence that both approaches can be effective, their relative importance remains an open question.

Read the report by clicking this link: Design Options of the Search for Employment


Naomi Goldstein is director of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services. She is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of ACF programs.

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