Personalized Job Matches for Displaced Workers
A year ago, there were nearly four million individuals who were unemployed for greater than six months.
As we write this proposal, only one in ten of those individuals will have found a permanent full-time job. Job loss leads to a variety of negative consequences. The losses in income have been shown to be large and long lasting, with one study finding a 20 percent reduction in income up to two decades after job loss.
Overcoming chronic unemployment and finding a well-matched job is a complicated problem that requires knowledge about oneself, the job market, and how one’s skillset matches with the available jobs. The government operates a number of programs and services designed to soften the blow of job los and help individuals reenter the labor force. Among active labor market policies, job search assistance and training appear to be some of the most effective strategies. The success of job search assistance underscores the importance of designing active labor market policies that are attentive to behavioral issues.
Barr and Castleman are working with the Capital Area Workforce Development Board in Texas to to provide displaced workers with prompts and personalized information to help individuals locate work and/or training opportunities in their communities that are well-matched to their prior work experience. Previous interventions have demonstrated the potential for personalized information, well-timed prompts, and access to assistance to improve education, financial savings, and health outcomes. Barr and Castleman are applying similar strategies to help unemployed individuals find jobs by leveraging publicly available data on jobs and training combined with state or proprietary data on work histories.