Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Public Workforce Programs during the Great Recession

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 1:45 PM
Orchid A (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Stephen Wandner and Randall Eberts, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
This study analyzes the operations of federally funded public workforce programs during the Great Recession.  More workers lost their jobs during the 2007-2009 recession than in any previous economic downturn since World War II.  As a result, job seekers participated in the federal workforce programs in record numbers.  Unemployed workers relied heavily on unemployment insurance, labor exchange and other reemployment services, and job training to help them return to work.   The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), in partnership with states and local entities, provides these services through the Unemployment Insurance system, the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service, and the Workforce Investment Act programs.  The paper examines what happened to participants in each of these programs for the period before, during and after the Great Recession.  The analysis is based on administrative data the USDOL collects data for each of its major programs – both programmatic and budgetary data. USDOL has recently compiled these reports for analytical and research purposes as the Public Workforce System Dataset, which assembles data back to 1995 for all of the major public workforce programs.  The study is based on an updated version of this dataset.  It makes use of earlier analysis conducted for the Urban Institute’s Unemployment and Recovery Project and a chapter in a book on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.