National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data
This report uses annual Social Security earnings data employers report to the Internal Revenue Service, as well as quarterly wage records employers report to state unemployment insurance agencies, to examine impacts on earnings in years five to seven after random assignment. The research team found no impact on employment or earnings overall, suggesting that the benefits of the program are smaller than the substantial program costs. However, Job Corps may be cost-effective for older youth (those ages 20 to 24 when they applied to the program), whose positive earning gains observed early on in the evaluation persisted during the post-survey period. The authors note that only long-term followup can clarify questions about the program's cost-effectiveness.