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Randomized Control Trial (RCT) Impact Evaluation of the Wisconsin Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program

Randomized Control Trial (RCT) Impact Evaluation of the Wisconsin Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program

Client: Wisconsin Division of Employment and Training, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, 2021 – 2025

Study objective: Examine if the Wisconsin RESEA program is effective in helping unemployed workers who collect UI benefits to reduce their UI spells and improve their employment rates and earnings. 

Policy context: In 2015, DOL instructed states to use their RESEA grants to implement programs that would require new UI claimants to undergo an eligibility review to confirm that they are compliant with state UI work-search requirements and receive services that would help them connect to available jobs. Wisconsin was among the first states to implement a program that met these requirements.

Research design: Conduct an RCT impact study that randomly assigns RESEA-eligible UI claimants into three groups: (1) RESEA group (required to attend a one-time RESEA session); (2) RESEA+ group (required to attend an initial and a follow-up RESEA session); and (3) control group (no requirements). Use Wisconsin administrative data to estimate the impacts of the RESEA program on participant UI spells, UI benefit amounts collected, employment rates, and earnings. Of particular interest is to identify the relative value of requiring a one-time meeting or multiple meetings. The study also includes an implementation study that uses information from stakeholder interviews, document reviews, and program observations to examine how Wisconsin RESEA was implemented and the processes used for delivering services. 

Policy impact: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 authorized the permanent and nationwide implementation of the RESEA program and encouraged states to conduct evaluations to build evidence that meet the CLEAR high or moderate causal evidence rating requirement set by DOL. The current study will produce evidence that meet the high causal evidence CLEAR criteria, thereby contributing to the portfolio of evidence-based practices in this policy area and justifying continued Federal funding for the Wisconsin RESEA program. In addition, this study will establish the relative value of requiring participants to attend a follow-up meeting after their initial meeting relative to the standard practice of requiring participants to attend a one-time meeting. 

Click here for the Wisconsin RESEA Second Annual Evaluation Report.

Click here for the second Annual Report infographic.

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