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

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

Client: Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; University of Missouri, 2021 – 2025

Study objective: Examine if the Missouri 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. Missouri was among many states that adopted DOL’s recommendations.

Research design: Conduct an RCT impact study that randomly assigns RESEA-eligible UI claimants into three groups: (1) program group A (required to attend an RESEA session in week 2 of their UI claim); (2) program group B (required to attend an RESEA session in week 6 of their UI claim); and (3) control group (no requirements). Use Missouri 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 early in participants’ claims versus later in their claims. The study also includes an implementation study that uses information from stakeholder interviews, document reviews, and program observations to examine how Missouri 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 Missouri RESEA program. In addition, this study will establish the relative value of providing RESEA services to participants early in their UI claims versus later in their UI claims (i.e., before and after most of them had time to engage in meaningful search activities).

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