The Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative is an approach that combines: (1) in-person unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility reviews, (2) labor market information (LMI,) (3) development of an individual reemployment plan and (4) referral to reemployment services (RES) and/or training. It is designed to ensure claimants are meeting the eligibility provisions of state laws and are exposed to reemployment services, including job search assistance and placement services, so they may return to employment as quickly as possible. While the REA initiative began in 2005, its features are grounded in past research findings and proven methods of administration that have been shown to be efficient and cost-effective.
Research conducted by IMPAQ International in 2011 found evidence that the REA program was effective in achieving the program’s goals of reducing UI duration and generating savings to the UI Trust Fund. The study showed that the Nevada REA program was more effective in reducing claimant UI duration and generating greater savings for the UI Trust Fund than the REA program in other states examined. Nevada’s REA program was found to differ from REA programs in other states. In Nevada, the same staff provided both REA and reemployment services (RES), charging their time to the appropriate work activities, while in other study states, different staff administered REA and RES. It appears that providing REA and RES services by the same staff in a single interview may be a key factor that led to greater program impacts in Nevada.
In light of these findings, the U.S. Department of Labor asked IMPAQ to extend the study of the Nevada REA program using updated data on UI receipt and wages for REA-eligible claimants who entered the program from July 2009 through December 2009. The objective of the present study is to address the following key questions related to the efficacy of the Nevada REA program: (1) Did REA reduce UI benefit duration and UI benefit amounts received?; (2) Was REA effective in expediting the reemployment of UI claimants?, and; (3) Did REA lead to UI Trust Fund savings and, if so, did these exceed REA program costs?
In this report, we address the above research questions using Nevada’s administrative UI data and intrastate Wage Records for all REA-eligible UI claimants who entered the program from July 2009 through December 2009. These data provide rich information on the socioeconomic characteristics, UI eligibility, and prior wages of claimants at the start of their UI claim. Using these data, we estimate the impact of the Nevada REA program on claimant UI receipt and quarterly wage outcomes following program entry. Our results show that the Nevada REA program was very effective in assisting claimants exit the UI program sooner than they would have in the absence of the program, leading to lower UI duration and producing important savings for the UI Trust Fund. We also find that the program was very effective in assisting claimants find employment in the period following program entry. Based on these results, we conclude that the Nevada REA program is a very effective policy tool for reducing UI duration and assisting UI claimants to return to productive employment more rapidly than they would in the absence of the program. (author abstract)