This paper uses an unbalanced panel dataset to evaluate the effects of repeated job search services (JSS) on the employment rates of the prime-age female welfare recipients in the state of Washington. The JSS are the main services provided by the WorkFirst program under the TANF program in Washington. Since the average annual expenditure per recipient of TANF in 1998 was $12,363 and the total annual expenditure was $830 million to Washington State, policy makers are particularly interested in finding out how effective the JSS program is and whether repeatedly participating in JSS could fundamentally change the labor market outcomes. Our findings indicate that the first job search service does have positive and significant impacts on the employment rate. However, providing repeated JSS to the same client has no significant impact. Further, we find that there are significant experience-enhancing effects. These findings suggest that providing one job search services training to individuals may have a lasting impact on raising their employment rates.
Note: This is a very technical article, but the executive summary is accessible.