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The Urban Institute has tracked job trends for four decades, following unskilled workers during the 1990s boom, welfare leavers taking jobs, and, more recently, older workers during the recession. Our experts study workforce development, disability and employment, and the low-skill labor market. Read more.

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Interim Outcome Study Report: National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) to Serve TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Individuals (Research Report)
Pamela J. Loprest, Allison Stolte

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program funds training programs in high-demand healthcare professions, targeted to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals. This report is part of the HPOG National Implementation Evaluation (NIE) and provides interim results on the key outcomes of HPOG healthcare training completion and employment, as well as on participants’ pre-training activities and receipt of support services and employment assistance. This study includes 27 HPOG grantees and the report provides information about the first 12 months of HPOG participation for 8,634 individuals.

Posted to Web: September 24, 2014Publication Date: September 11, 2014

The First Year of Accelerating Opportunity: Implementation Findings from the States and Colleges (Research Report)
Theresa Anderson, Lauren Eyster, Robert I. Lerman, Additional Authors

Beginning in 2012, the Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative provided $1.6 million in grants to five states. The grants were to help community colleges create career pathway programs to enroll students with low basic skills into for-credit career and technical education courses to improve their educational and employment outcomes. A rigorous and comprehensive evaluation of AO includes a non-experimental impact study, an implementation study, and a cost-benefit analysis. This first report provides key findings on the pathways, students, resources, partnerships, culture shifts, and policy developments from the first year of implementation of the initiative.

Posted to Web: September 23, 2014Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Preparing Youth for College and Career (Research Report)
Brett Theodos, Mike Pergamit, Sara Edelstein, Taz George, Lesley Freiman

This report presents baseline and process study findings of an evaluation of the Urban Alliance high school internship program, which provides training, mentoring, and work experience to high school seniors from distressed communities in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Chicago. The report, which focuses on the program's operations in DC and Baltimore in the 2011–12 and 2012–13 program years, explains the internship program model and its various components; describes the characteristics of youth participants; and presents findings from dozens of interviews and focus groups with program staff, youth, job mentors, and other stakeholders.

Posted to Web: September 16, 2014Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Assessing Pension Benefits Paid under Pennsylvania's State Employees' Retirement System (Research Report)
Richard W. Johnson, Barbara Butrica, Owen Haaga, Benjamin G. Southgate

Pennsylvania’s pension plan for state employees receives a failing grade in the Urban Institute’s state and local pension plan report card, and ranks as the third-worst plan in the nation covering newly hired general state employees. The plan scores poorly because it is inadequately funded, it penalizes work at older ages by reducing lifetime benefits for older employees, and it provides few retirement benefits to short-term employees. Age-25 hires must work 32 years before they accumulate rights to future pension benefits worth more than their required plan contributions. Various pension reforms could distribute benefits more equitably across the workforce.

Posted to Web: September 04, 2014Publication Date: September 04, 2014

Little Evidence of the ACA Increasing Part-Time Work So Far (Policy Briefs/Timely Analysis of Health Policy Issues)
Bowen Garrett, Robert Kaestner

This brief examines whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased part-time work using recent Current Population Survey data. We find a small increase in part-time work in 2014 beyond what would be expected at this point in the economic recovery, attributable to an increase in involuntary part-time work. The increase is not specific to part-time work as defined by the ACA (less than 30 hours per week). Moreover, job transition patterns suggest that the increase in part-time work in 2014 is more likely due to a slow recovery of full-time jobs following the Great Recession than the ACA.

Posted to Web: September 03, 2014Publication Date: September 03, 2014

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