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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Lower-Basch, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2011

    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) was created in 1996 and has been modified and extended repeatedly since. A separate but similar credit for long-term welfare recipients was consolidated with the WOTC in 2006. Recent program expansions have caused the annual cost of this credit to exceed $1 billion in recent years. WOTC is not designed to promote net job creation, and there is no evidence that it does so. The program is designed to encourage employers to increase hiring of members of certain disadvantaged groups, but studies have found that it has little effect on hiring choices or retention; it may have modest positive effects on the earnings of qualifying workers at participating firms. Most of the benefit of the credit appears to go to large firms in high turnover, lowwage industries, many of whom use intermediaries to identify eligible workers and complete required paperwork. These findings suggest very high levels of windfall costs, in which employers receive the tax credit for hiring workers whom they would have hired in the absence of the credit. (author introduction...

    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) was created in 1996 and has been modified and extended repeatedly since. A separate but similar credit for long-term welfare recipients was consolidated with the WOTC in 2006. Recent program expansions have caused the annual cost of this credit to exceed $1 billion in recent years. WOTC is not designed to promote net job creation, and there is no evidence that it does so. The program is designed to encourage employers to increase hiring of members of certain disadvantaged groups, but studies have found that it has little effect on hiring choices or retention; it may have modest positive effects on the earnings of qualifying workers at participating firms. Most of the benefit of the credit appears to go to large firms in high turnover, lowwage industries, many of whom use intermediaries to identify eligible workers and complete required paperwork. These findings suggest very high levels of windfall costs, in which employers receive the tax credit for hiring workers whom they would have hired in the absence of the credit. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Cohen, Marie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    This publication, one of a series designed to help policymakers and TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] agency personnel, offers an overview of programs providing publicly funded paid jobs in the public or nonprofit sector to TANF recipients, as well as of work experience programs in which recipients receive welfare payment in return for working. The first section asks and answers some policy questions, including: What should be the purpose of work experience or publicly funded jobs?; What are the merits of publicly funded jobs as compared to unpaid work experience?; Which TANF recipients should be placed in work experience or publicly funded jobs?; What can be done to prevent displacement of current employees?; What adjustments should be made in areas where unemployment is high?; What should the wage and hour requirements be?; What can states and localities do when work experience or publicly funded jobs do not provide enough hours to meet federal participation requirements?; What additional services should be included?; Who should administer a work experience or...

    This publication, one of a series designed to help policymakers and TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] agency personnel, offers an overview of programs providing publicly funded paid jobs in the public or nonprofit sector to TANF recipients, as well as of work experience programs in which recipients receive welfare payment in return for working. The first section asks and answers some policy questions, including: What should be the purpose of work experience or publicly funded jobs?; What are the merits of publicly funded jobs as compared to unpaid work experience?; Which TANF recipients should be placed in work experience or publicly funded jobs?; What can be done to prevent displacement of current employees?; What adjustments should be made in areas where unemployment is high?; What should the wage and hour requirements be?; What can states and localities do when work experience or publicly funded jobs do not provide enough hours to meet federal participation requirements?; What additional services should be included?; Who should administer a work experience or publicly funded jobs program?; and What funds should be used for publicly funded jobs?. The second section summarizes research findings, and the third section focuses on innovative practices in unpaid work experience and community service programs and publicly funded jobs programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Friedman, Pamela
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 1999

    While states have the authority under TANF to exempt a portion of their caseloads from time limits and work requirements, it is likely that many recipients classified as hard-to-serve will still need to find work, particularly in those states that stress a “work first” approach to welfare reform. Many will reach time limits having not yet found work, and as a result may lose all or part of their benefits.

    To enable the hard-to-serve make the transition to unsubsidized employment, states may choose to focus on the development of work experience tools that can be used by recipients as a stepping stone to more permanent employment. These tools include Community Work Experience Programs (CWEP) and publicly funded jobs in the public or non-profit sector. In the context of this paper, community work experience positions are those for which welfare recipients receive their welfare check in return for work. Publicly funded jobs are wage paying positions supported with government funds. Participants in the latter qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and are required to...

    While states have the authority under TANF to exempt a portion of their caseloads from time limits and work requirements, it is likely that many recipients classified as hard-to-serve will still need to find work, particularly in those states that stress a “work first” approach to welfare reform. Many will reach time limits having not yet found work, and as a result may lose all or part of their benefits.

    To enable the hard-to-serve make the transition to unsubsidized employment, states may choose to focus on the development of work experience tools that can be used by recipients as a stepping stone to more permanent employment. These tools include Community Work Experience Programs (CWEP) and publicly funded jobs in the public or non-profit sector. In the context of this paper, community work experience positions are those for which welfare recipients receive their welfare check in return for work. Publicly funded jobs are wage paying positions supported with government funds. Participants in the latter qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and are required to pay appropriate taxes. (author introduction)

    The original hyperlink to this resource has been removed by the publisher. You may obtain a single use PDF by emailing the SSRC at ssrc@opressrc.org.

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The budget for the U.S. Department of Labor for Fiscal Year 2010 includes a total of $45 million to support and study transitional jobs. This paper describes the origins of the transitional jobs models that are operating today, reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of this approach and other subsidized employment models, and offers some suggestions regarding the next steps for program design and research. The paper was produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by MDRC as part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ project, which includes two random assignment evaluations of transitional jobs programs.

    Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs, support services, and job placement help to individuals who have difficulty getting and holding jobs in the regular labor market. Although recent evaluation results have raised doubts about whether TJ programs, as currently designed, are an effective way to improve participants’ long-term employment prospects, the studies have also confirmed that TJ programs can be operated at...

    The budget for the U.S. Department of Labor for Fiscal Year 2010 includes a total of $45 million to support and study transitional jobs. This paper describes the origins of the transitional jobs models that are operating today, reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of this approach and other subsidized employment models, and offers some suggestions regarding the next steps for program design and research. The paper was produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by MDRC as part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ project, which includes two random assignment evaluations of transitional jobs programs.

    Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs, support services, and job placement help to individuals who have difficulty getting and holding jobs in the regular labor market. Although recent evaluation results have raised doubts about whether TJ programs, as currently designed, are an effective way to improve participants’ long-term employment prospects, the studies have also confirmed that TJ programs can be operated at scale, can create useful work opportunities for very disadvantaged people, and can lead to critical indirect impacts such as reducing recidivism among former prisoners. Thus, in drawing lessons from the recent results, the paper argues that it may be important to think more broadly about the goals of TJ programs while simultaneously testing new strategies that may produce better long-term employment outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, Clifford M.; Rynell, Amy; Young, Melissa
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2010

    The need for direct public job creation efforts is greater today than at any time during the past seven decades. With a national unemployment rate that recently exceeded 10 percent and severe economic distress in hard-hit communities and population groups, a new federal initiative that puts jobless individuals immediately to work must be a central element of any strategy for restoring economic growth and responding to pressing human needs in 2010 and beyond. Public service employment (PSE) and transitional jobs (TJ) programs that use time-limited, paid work as the centerpiece of efforts to assist the unemployed offer tested and urgently needed models for combating the current recession and advancing longer-term workforce development goals.

    The absence of recent experience and a corresponding program infrastructure to support the large-scale creation of publicly funded jobs presents daunting challenges, particularly in light of the rapid implementation necessary to improve employment conditions over the next year. Nonetheless, the history of federal job creation programs...

    The need for direct public job creation efforts is greater today than at any time during the past seven decades. With a national unemployment rate that recently exceeded 10 percent and severe economic distress in hard-hit communities and population groups, a new federal initiative that puts jobless individuals immediately to work must be a central element of any strategy for restoring economic growth and responding to pressing human needs in 2010 and beyond. Public service employment (PSE) and transitional jobs (TJ) programs that use time-limited, paid work as the centerpiece of efforts to assist the unemployed offer tested and urgently needed models for combating the current recession and advancing longer-term workforce development goals.

    The absence of recent experience and a corresponding program infrastructure to support the large-scale creation of publicly funded jobs presents daunting challenges, particularly in light of the rapid implementation necessary to improve employment conditions over the next year. Nonetheless, the history of federal job creation programs since the 1930s suggests that these challenges are not insurmountable. In many respects, the reluctance of key policymakers to launch a new PSE program this past year was rooted in a fundamental misreading of past research. Past experience provides ample evidence that public job creation can be undertaken quickly and effectively, with acceptable costs, manageable levels of substitution or displacement, and clear benefits to participants and their communities (Briggs 1981).

    This paper makes the case for a multiphase approach to public job creation, beginning in early 2010 with “fast-track” efforts to support specific PSE projects launched by local governments and developing in 2011 and succeeding years into a more sophisticated strategy for combining publicly funded jobs with education or training for individuals facing major barriers to labor market entry. Innovative TJ programs now operating throughout the nation can provide key building blocks for, and guide the development of, a permanent public job creation program, one that can respond to changing economic circumstances while addressing the serious employment problems that persist throughout the business cycle. (author abstract)

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