The budget for the U.S. Department of Labor for Fiscal Year 2010 includes a total of $45 million to support and study transitional jobs. This paper describes the origins of the transitional jobs models that are operating today, reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of this approach and other subsidized employment models, and offers some suggestions regarding the next steps for program design and research. The paper was produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by MDRC as part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ project, which includes two random assignment evaluations of transitional jobs programs.
The Obama administration wants to change the way politicians fight for jobs by encouraging regions - instead of individual states and cities - to compete for economic development projects.
Accomplishing this sea change in economic thinking will be difficult. The current system of states and cities battling for companies, often outbidding each other with ever-higher tax breaks, is pretty ingrained. President Obama's hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, was one of the best practitioners; Virginia topped Forbes magazine's "best states for business" every year of his term.
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