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Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from 'Work First'

David Autor () and Susan N. Houseman

No 05-124, Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles from W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Abstract: Temporary-help jobs offer rapid entry into paid employment, but they are typically brief and it is unknown whether they foster longer-term employment. We utilize the unique structure of Detroit's welfare-to-work program to identify the effect of temporary-help jobs on labor market advancement. Exploiting the rotational assignment of welfare clients to numerous nonprofit contractors with differing job placement rates, we find that temporary-help job placements do not improve and may diminish subsequent earnings and employment outcomes among participants. In contrast, job placements with direct-hire employers substantially raise earnings and employment over a seven quarter follow-up period.

Keywords: Temporary-help; welfare to work; job placement; low-skill workers; causal effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J48 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Date: 2009-08
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Related works:
Journal Article: Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from "Work First" (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Temporary Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from 'Work First' (2005) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from "Work First" Downloads
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