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Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) Impact Study of the Colorado RESEA Program

Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) Impact Study of the Colorado RESEA Program

​Client: Arnold Ventures, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 2023 – 2029

Study objective: Examine if the Colorado RESEA program is effective in helping unemployed workers who collect Unemployment Insurance (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.  

Research design. Conduct an RCT impact study of Colorado’s RESEA program to determine whether the impacts found in Nevada replicate in Colorado. The study will randomize approximately 30,000 RESEA-eligible claimants, of whom roughly half will be assigned to the RESEA program and the other half to the control group. The RCT will measure the effect of the Colorado RESEA program on (i) total earnings in the 18-month period following program entry; and (ii) the total benefit amount collected before UI exit in order to determine whether the program produced net savings for the state. If effects are found at the 18-month follow-up, the study will be extended to measure earnings through 45 months following program entry.  

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 Colorado RESEA program. 

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