Employment Coaching: Evidence Snapshot

Employment Coaching: Evidence Snapshot

OPRE Report # 2021-190
Published: Dec 30, 2021
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Associated Project

Evaluation of Employment Coaching for TANF and Related Populations

Time frame: 2016-2021

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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Key Findings

On average, interventions that use employment coaching improved outcomes, especially earnings and education and training. In particular, for intervention participants as compared with comparison groups that did not receive intervention services:

  • Short-term annual earnings increased by $696 and long-term annual earnings increased by $639, on average, across the 14 interventions that measured the impact of employment coaching on earnings.
  • Short-term and long-term employment increased by an average of 1 percentage point across the 16 interventions that examined these outcomes.
  • On average, within studies measuring public benefits, short-term benefit receipt did not change, long-term benefit receipt increased by 1 percentage point, and the amount of public benefits received increased by $30 in the short term and $137 in the long term.
  • Education and training attainment increased by 13 percentage points across the six studies that measured changes in education.
  • Three interventions with employment coaching improved more than one type of outcome.

Employment coaching involves a collaborative, goal setting process between a coach and client to help the client get a job and build the skills necessary to achieve their goals (OPRE 2019). This evidence snapshot summarizes what rigorous research can tell us about 18 interventions that used employment coaching with people with low incomes and the interventions’ impacts on earnings, employment, the receipt of public benefits, and education and training. The data comes from high- or moderate-quality studies conducted between 1990 and 2019 and reviewed by the Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse.

This brief evidence snapshot describes the effectiveness of programs that were identified by the Pathways Clearinghouse as using employment coaching. It summarizes what we know about these programs and their impacts on employment, earnings, and related outcomes for people with low incomes so that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families administrators, policymakers, researchers, and the general public can apply the evidence to questions and contexts that matter to them.

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