Job Search Assistance Evaluation, 2013-2018

Project Overview

The Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies evaluation will feature a multi-site, random assignment evaluation to measure the relative impact of specific job search services offered by TANF programs on short-term labor market outcomes (e.g., earnings and time to employment). The JSA evaluation aims to achieve several goals. First, ACF intends for this evaluation to provide information about the relative impacts of various JSA services and the manner in which agencies provide them. A second goal for this evaluation is provide actionable and policy-relevant feedback to the TANF field, including federal TANF policymakers, state and local TANF administrators, and frontline caseworkers. A third and final goal is to use innovative and state-of-the-art methods to develop a study that is cost-effective and efficient, while rigorous and methodologically sound.

The JSA evaluation will use a random assignment experimental design and will include an impact and implementation evaluation carried out across the selected sites. Consistent with the policy framework of TANF, ACF expects that the job search assistance approaches studied will be relatively short-term in nature. Similarly, ACF anticipates that these outcomes can be measured using administrative data sources, including the National Directory of New Hires. However, ACF may also conduct a follow-up survey with a subsample of participants to examine broader outcomes. Complementing this work will be a series of special TANF studies that will feature short-term descriptive or qualitative inquiries into TANF-related topics of interest.

The point of contact is Erica Zielewski.