Job Training Partnership Act

Long-Term Earnings and Employment Outcomes Gao ID: HEHS-96-40 March 4, 1996

The federal government spends billions of dollars annually to support employment training programs, but little is known about their long-term effect on participants' earnings and employment rates. GAO analysis found some positive effects of the Job Training Partnership Act--the cornerstone of the federal employment training effort--in the years immediately following training. However, neither employment rates nor earnings were significantly higher for participants than for nonparticipants five years after training. In some earlier years, adults (but not youth) who received training had earnings or employment rates significantly higher than those of the control group. By the fifth year, each of the four treatment groups had earnings and employment rates that were nominally higher than those of the control group. Because none of the fifth-year differences were statistically significant, however, GAO could not attribute the higher earnings to training provided under the act rather than to chance alone.

GAO found that: (1) JTPA participants receiving training had significantly higher earnings and employment rates than non-participants during the early stages of the program; and (2) annual earnings and employment rates for adult and youth JTPA participants increased after 5 years of participation, but the differences were not statistically significant.

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