March 24, 1999
Public Job Creation: Selected References
by Clifford M. Johnson
Available from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (https://www.cbpp.org, 202-408-1080)
- Publicly-Funded Jobs for Hard-to-Employ Welfare Recipients, https://www.cbpp.org/714wtw.htm, by Clifford Johnson, March 1999, 6 pages. A brief overview summarizing the reasons why increasing numbers of states and communities are turning to publicly-funded jobs as a major component of their welfare-to-work efforts. It also describes the key elements of such programs and includes short summaries of 11 current initiatives being implemented at state, county, and city levels.
- Frequently-Asked Questions About Public Job Creation, https://www.cbpp.org/pjc-faq.htm, by Clifford Johnson, November 1998, 6 pages. An easily accessible review of basic information pertaining to public job creation presented in question-and-answer format. Topics covered in this paper include the rationale for public job creation efforts, lessons from past and current initiatives, responses to common criticisms of this approach, potential funding sources, and contacts for additional information.
- Washington State's Community Jobs Initiative, https://www.cbpp.org/520wtw.htm, by Clifford Johnson, April 1999, 6 pages. A detailed description of the most recent and most ambitious state-administered program launched to date that creates publicly-funded jobs for welfare recipients. The paper examines the history, program design, and administrative structure of this initiative and identifies emerging implementation issues of potential interest to policy makers, administrators, and community leaders. Key contacts within the two state agencies responsible for implementing the program are listed as sources of additional information.
- Vermont's Community Service Employment Program, https://www.cbpp.org/722wtw.htm, by Clifford Johnson and Mark Headings, July 1998, 6 pages. A detailed description of the nation's longest-running publicly-funded jobs program for welfare recipients, with a structure similar to that used in the Washington paper described above. Taken together, these two papers offer an "inside look" at the operations of state-administered job creation programs and the challenges they currently face.
- Shattering the Myth of Failure: Promising Findings from Ten Public Job Creation Initiatives, https://www.cbpp.org/1222jobcr.htm, by Clifford Johnson and Ana Lopez, December 1997, 26 pages. A comprehensive examination of research findings on past and current efforts to create publicly-funded jobs for disadvantaged adults and youth. This synthesis of the research literature presents six lessons to guide thedevelopment of future job creation efforts. These lessons are supplemented by two-page summaries of findings from evaluations of ten particularly prominent or interesting job creation models and a list of selected research references.
- Toward a New Generation of Community Jobs Programs, https://www.cbpp.org/1219cfed.htm, by Clifford Johnson (also published by the Corporation for Enterprise Development in its 1997 Entrepreneurial Economy Review), July 1997, 6 pages. A broad perspective on public job creation strategies that makes the case for re-examining their past record and future prospects. Rather than calling for a return to previous models or approaches, this article presents nine suggestions on how new initiatives should attempt to build upon past lessons and break new ground to meet today's challenges and needs.
- Work-Study Programs for Welfare Recipients: A Job Creation Strategy that Combines Work and Education, https://www.cbpp.org/8-18-98wtw.htm, by Clifford Johnson and Esther Kaggwa, August 1998, 22 pages. A thorough analysis of the opportunities to create publicly-funded jobs for welfare recipients through the development or expansion of college work-study programs. This paper includes a brief background discussion of education and welfare reform as well as descriptions of the Federal Work-Study program and a state-funded work-study initiative for welfare recipients in California. It then examines key program design and implementation issues that should be considered by policy makers, college administrators, and other state and local leaders interested in work-study models.
- Federal Welfare-to-Work Grants: New Opportunities to Create Jobs and Assist Non-Custodial Parents, https://www.cbpp.org/609wtw.htm, by Clifford Johnson, June 1998, 8 pages. A brief introduction to the arguments for using federal welfare-to-work grants for two purposes: the creation of publicly-funded jobs for welfare recipients and the provision of new services to bolster the employment prospects of non-custodial parents. An appendix to the paper offers a concise, two-page summary of the major provisions of the federal legislation authorizing the welfare-to-work grant program as well as contacts for additional information.
Available from the Center for Law and Social Policy (http://www.clasp.org, 202-328-5140)
- Beyond Job Search or Basic Education: Rethinking the Role of Skills in Welfare Reform, by Julie Strawn, April 1998, 54 pages. A comprehensive review and analysis of the research on the two most commonly tried welfare-to-work strategies: "quick employment" programs and "skill building" programs. The paper concludes that the most effective welfare-to-work programs share a flexible, balanced approach that offers job search, education, job training, and work. Twelve informative profiles of emerging program models that reflect this approach are presented at the end of the paper.
- Community Service Employment: A New Opportunity Under TANF, by Steve Savner and Mark Greenberg, November 1997, 7 pages. A brief introduction to the opportunities to create publicly-funded jobs through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The paper describes how federal welfare reforms enacted in 1996 opened the door to new job creation efforts with state and local welfare programs. It highlights ways in which community service employment differs from traditional unpaid work experience (or "workfare") programs and frames key choices for states to consider in designing community service employment programs.
- The Fiscal and Legal Framework For Creating a Community Service Employment Program, by Maurice Emsellem and Steve Savner, November 1997, 22 pages. A technical guide for policy makers, administrators, and advocates who want to understand the fiscal and legal implications of establishing a wage-based community service employment program as opposed to an unpaid (or grant-based) work experience program. Topics covered in the paper include: wage requirements, tax treatment of wages, worker's compensation, liability insurance, unemployment compensation, and worker rights and protections. A useful appendix compares monthly costs for a community service employment program and an unpaid work experience program.
- Funding Community Service Employment in the TANF Framework, by Mark Greenberg, November 1997, 7 pages. A concise summary of the rules and consequences associated with various options for funding community service employment under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This paper guides readers through the complex issues of federal and state funding under TANF, specifying when federal time limits on assistance, work participation rates, child support requirements, and other federal prohibitions apply to community service employment programs. A short appendix addresses further questions regarding the treatment of child support in such programs.
Available from the Center for Community Change (http://www.commchange.org, 202-342-0567)
- Estimating the Economic Impact of a Public Jobs Campaign, by Richard McGahey, 1997, 26 pages. An analysis of the economic impact of creating one million publicly-funded jobs at the state and local level, based on assumptions that the jobs are paid for by increased federal grants to states, phased in over three years, and financed by an increase in federal taxes on corporate profits. The paper concludes that a jobs program of this nature would result in higher nominal and real growth rates, stable private-sector employment, and a lower unemployment rate. Its relatively technical findings are based upon simulations generated by a widely-used econometric model of the U.S. economy.
- Federal Revenue Policies That Work: A Blueprint for Job Creation to Support Welfare Reform, by Jerry Jones, 1997, 30 pages. A presentation of evidence that public job creation efforts are needed and that federal resources to pay for such efforts can be found without increasing tapping budget surpluses or creating federal deficits. This paper is divided into two major sections: the first half reviews national data related to job availability and unemployment; the second half examines revenue options for financing a federal job creation initiative, with particular emphasis on direct and indirect federal subsidies to corporations.
- Linking Human Services and Economic Development, by Emily Gantz McKay and Christina Lopez, 1997, 78 pages. A detailed guidebook that focuses on ways to strengthen the link between human services and economic development. Following an overview of current trends in the availability and delivery of human services, this report takes an in-depth look at the potential for creating jobs in three major areas: home health care and supportive services; child care; and neighborhood foster care. While not devoted exclusively to public job creation strategies, the guidebook is filled with useful case studies and other information that could guide the development of public job creation initiatives in these three areas.
Other Papers and Resources of Interest
- An Early Look at Community Service Jobs in the New Hope Demonstration, by Susan Poglinco, Julian Brash, and Robert Granger, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY, July 1998, 28 pages. A working paper that examines the design and implementation of wage-paying community service jobs in the New Hope Project that operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1994 through 1998. The authors conclude that New Hope was able to create enough jobs to meet the demand for them, that these jobs were perceived as "real" by work sites and participants, and that a substantial proportion of participants seemed to be using them as a bridge to unsubsidized employment. (http://www.mdrc.org, 212-532-3200)
- Public Service Employment and Mandatory Work: A Policy Whose Time Has Come and Gone and Come Again?, by David Ellwood and Elisabeth Welty, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, October 1998 (draft), 105 pages. A more exhaustive, academic review of the literature on public service employment (PSE) and unpaid work experience (or "workfare") programs, with particular attention devoted to displacement and program outcomes. The authors contend that poorly-run PSE programs are counterproductive but that carefully-administered efforts can increase employment, minimize displacement, and produce work of genuine value. (617-495-1121)
- Spending to Save: Expanding Employment Opportunities, by Sar Levitan and Frank Gallo, George Washington University Center for Social Policy Studies, Washington, DC, May 1991, 44 pages. A detailed and informative discussion of lessons emerging from public job creation programs since the 1930's, covering both program goals and objectives as well as administrative challenges. The paper ends with recommendations to guide the development of a jobs program for the 1990's. (Out of print)
- Thinking Creatively About Welfare-To-Work Job Creation, by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Washington, DC, July1998, 34 pages. A compendium of local welfare-to-work initiatives undertaken in partnership with labor unions, including descriptions of a number of programs that create publicly-funded jobs for welfare recipients. The report also contains brief summaries of pending legislation and an annotated list of potential funding sources. (http://www.afscme.org, 202-429-1155)
- The U.S. Experience with Public Service Employment Programs, by Burt Barnow, Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies, Baltimore, MD, September 1994 (draft), 30 pages. Another review of the research literature on PSE programs, focusing primarily on evidence from programs operated during the 1970's under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). The author concludes that PSE has performed fairly well in increasing human capital and providing valuable services, although evidence regarding its contributions to net job creation is inconclusive. (410-516-5388)
- Work Experience and Publicly-Funded Jobs for TANF Recipients, by Marie Cohen, Welfare Information Network, Washington, DC, September 1998, 12 pages. A concise and very helpful overview of the issues and research related to both unpaid work experience and publicly-funded jobs programs. The paper identifies key policy issues, summarizes relevant research findings, describes innovative practices, and provides a list of resources for additional information. (http://www.welfareinfo.org, 202-628-5790)
- Working Out of Poverty: Employment Retention and Career Advancement for Welfare Recipients, by Rebecca Brown, Evelyn Ganzglass, Susan Golonka, Jill Hyland, and Martin Simon, National Governors' Association, Washington, DC, 1998, 54 pages. A valuable resource guide from NGA's Center for Best Practices that includes a section on the use of transitional employment as a career development strategy for hard-to-employ welfare recipients. This portion of the report reviews a broad range of paid and unpaid work experience models, highlighting strategies that states can use to improve the effectiveness of transitional employment as a first step on a career ladder that eventually helps people escape poverty. (http://www.nga.org, 202-624-5300)
- Youth Corps: Promising Strategies for Young People and their Communities, by J. Jastrzab et al., Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA, February 1997, 31 pages. A summary of results from a rigorous evaluation of eight youth corps programs across the nation, including four youth corps programs that participated in participant impact and cost-benefit analyses which involved random assignment of program applicants. The evaluation documented strong impacts on participants' employment and earnings, with particularly strong positive effects for young African-American men, and it found that benefits to society produced by youth corps exceeded their costs. (http://www.abtassoc.com, 617-349-2375)