This report assesses the capacity of New York State government to fulfill one of its critical roles under the new welfare reform law -- helping recipients move from welfare to private sector employment. The conclusions of this report were arrived at after reviewing eleven OSC audits of job training and job creation programs conducted over the last decade, and then comparing those findings with nationwide studies covering the last three decades.
What emerges from this review is that the programs used by the State of New York to meet this objective have an extremely poor track record. This is not news to those who pay attention to these issues. The national data also offers little support that there are effective programs that are large enough to be adaptable to the needs of New York State.
The principal findings of the audits of New York State programs show:
- Job training programs are failing to demonstrate that they can effectively place people into jobs: programs are not meeting goals, placement rates are low and definitions of success are vague;
- Information on job training program performance is unreliable. Job placement statistics are overstated. Successful placements are counted without regard to the level of income the jobs produce or the duration of employment. Participants are counted as a "program success" without receiving any services from the program.
- Even after auditors identified weaknesses in the information reporting system that distorted program success and corrective action was promised, one year later when a follow up was conducted nothing had changed.
- Claims that job training programs have saved money for the State or are cost-effective have not been borne out.
- Successful program results are not measured against a control group. This means the State cannot verify how many program participants obtained employment compared to those who found employment on their own.
- Two critical questions were never asked by any of the programs audited by OSC: (1) does the income of the mother increase as a result of program participation, and, (2) is the well-being of the children improved.
- Programs that create jobs through government incentives to private businesses are not providing reliable information on actual job creation. There are no independent checks to verify claims of success.
- When independent checks were performed it was documented that the job creation claims were overstated.
- When jobs are created, program requirements to recruit disadvantaged workers are not met. Agency oversight is lax and corrective measures are not instituted when problems are identified;
- Cost-benefit analysis of the programs are not carried out. The amount of public benefits provided to companies is not systematically justified.
has promised reform and recognized the longstanding nature of program
ineffectiveness. This is productive, but it is beside the point.
The agencies that responded to the audits in this report have promised
specific reforms. Many administrators asked for more time, attributing
weak program performance to the "newness" of an initiative.
The main problem now is that these initiatives taken as a whole
are not new, and the time needed to work them out is limited. Under
the new system, public assistance to needy families is reduced or
terminated at a predetermined date independent of employment status.
Even without the pressure of the new welfare law, can the State continue to justify the expenditure of almost $1 billion annually on a set of programs with, at best, marginal outcomes?
The new federal welfare law, and the proposal set forth under Governor Pataki's New York Works plan expand efforts to move public assistance recipients, predominantly mothers with children, from welfare into private sector jobs. The objective is to replace subpoverty public assistance income with income from waged employment -- presumably at higher levels.
The principal tools used by New York State to assist recipients in their efforts to prepare for private sector employment are a variety of work-related programs which the State has operated in one form or another for decades. While these programs are targeted at various subgroups of disadvantaged job seekers, some are specifically designed for the welfare mother. In FY 1997 the Governor is proposing to spend $953 million on these programs - an increase of some $125 million from prior year levels.
The State also sponsors an array of job creation programs. These programs provide economic inducements to private sector companies and have a dual objective -- the creation of healthy businesses and the development of jobs. The inducements are provided, and the business is then expected to produce employment opportunities. Most of the programs attempt to target the newly created employment opportunities to those who are unemployed or experiencing economic hardship.
Summary of Audits
The Office of the State Comptroller has regularly reviewed job training and job development programs designed to create opportunities for disadvantaged workers for the past decade.
The job training audits focus on different program aspects but pose core questions: Do welfare mothers in training programs obtain jobs as a result of these programs? Are they less likely to rely on public assistance in the future than mothers who do not participate in the programs? Do the women obtain jobs that pay as opposed to jobs that do not? Do private job placement programs perform well? Do programs that place other disadvantaged groups in jobs meet their goals? Are performance levels adequate? Are the systems to track program progress reliable?
The job creation audits focus on different programs that provide various economic incentives to private businesses. Some of the programs grant these incentives with a direct intent to create jobs and others are designed to improve the economic prospects of the companies with a less direct job creation component. These programs are not all targeted at welfare mothers, but are also geared to employ unskilled adults or employees looking to retrain after downsizing. All of them, however, seek to expand opportunities for those who have been unable to obtain employment.
These audits pose yet other questions -- Were jobs created? Did the companies carry out their end of the deal to advertise in places where disadvantaged workers would look for jobs? Are State agencies exercising responsible oversight for those programs making sure that job creation goals are met? Is corrective action being taken when problems emerge?
After reviewing both job training and job creation audits it appears we know very little about the success of these programs. The job training programs do not collect sufficient information to answer the question: are welfare mothers leaving poverty as a result of participation in these programs. The State has never asked the question. As for whether one job training program is better than another -- we do not know. Program design and implementation are unreliable as a tool for measuring success or shaping future programs(1).
To the degree reporting is reliable, the programs fail to meet the modest goals established and program claims of cost effectiveness are questionable.
These job training audits suggest programs can be designed that are relevant to emerging labor markets. This increases the chances that people will find more stable employment after they receive job training. However, none of the programs have particularly high placement rates, even when designed appropriately.
Absent dramatic reform, the State's job creation efforts are unlikely to produce job opportunities for public assistance recipients. The programs generally overstate the number of jobs they actually produce. When specifically directed to reach out to disadvantaged groups, neither the State agencies in charge nor the businesses involved have evidenced a strong track record of recruiting from this labor pool.
The balance of this report restates the key findings of OSC audits in the job training and job development area. These findings are then reviewed against the backdrop of current academic literature on the topic of welfare to work. Taken together they suggest the enormity of the challenge faced by the State if it is to formulate a credible plan to reform public assistance.
Part I -- Audits of Job Training Programs
A. Audits of Job Training Programs for Welfare Mothers
1. JOBS Initiative
In 1988 the
Federal government passed the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills program
(JOBS ). The law became effective on October 1, 1990. The program
was part of the larger welfare reform bill passed at the time. The
main point of JOBS was to make welfare mothers avoid long term reliance
on public assistance through paid employment.
The Office of the State Comptroller audited the initial performance of JOBS in New York State for the three year period ending September 30, 1993. The name of the program for New York was Jobs FIRST. The Department of Social Services reported that during this period 67,405 recipients entered employment as a result of the new program. The Department also reported that these placements saved $84.1 million in public assistance payments during this period .
The Comptroller's audit: Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Program, Report 94-S-15 was released on October 7, 1994 ( a follow-up letter report 95-F-45 was issued October 16, 1995). The audit's conclusion is as follows:
"We found that the Department has not developed an adequate system to measure the performance of the JOBS program. The primary goal of the JOBS program is to make recipients self-sufficient. However, the Department does not collect information relating to the accomplishment of this goal. Rather, the only information readily available at the Department is the extent of pubic assistance grant reductions ($84.1 million during the three-year audit period) resulting from clients obtaining employment, even though there are many other factors that could be considered to assess the program."
The audit conclusions continue:
"Furthermore, the information reported about the program for our audit period was neither reliable nor indicative of program effectiveness. As a result the Department is unable to ensure that tax dollars committed to this program have had the desired results of making recipients self-sufficient and thereby reducing taxpayer costs of public assistance."
The audit discusses Departmental attempts to make positive changes in the program and indicates that a new Commissioner has been hired who has made this new program a top priority. The audit then takes up the specific issue of the 67,405 jobs and concludes:
"According to the Department records, during the three years ended September 30, 1993, participants in the JOBS program were placed in 67,405 jobs. However, when we examined this reported number of jobs we found that it was not necessarily indicative of program effectiveness. For example, job placements were reported regardless of income generated by the job (individuals with part-time jobs may still be eligible for public assistance) or the time spent in the job by the program participants (which could be as little as one day). In addition, participants were double-counted if they were hired more than once during the period, and over 40 percent of the reported job placements occurred before the individuals received any employment training through the JOBS program. Our tests, as well as tests performed by the Department, also show that the number of program participants is routinely overstated by the Department's system because individuals leaving the program are not recorded timely and actual attendance in the training courses is not recorded ."
The audit response from the Department of Social Services addressed the audit findings in the following manner:
"We believe it is important to point out that the Jobs FIRST initiative instituted in January of this year redefines the purpose of public assistance so that it is viewed as a program which provides basic support to recipients while they engage in activities leading to employment. Under Jobs FIRST it is no longer acceptable for a client to a be a passive recipient of cash benefits. Welfare recipients are now being held to clearly stated expectations which reinforce the notion that the help they receive demands something in return. All recipients will become participants in employment related activities as a condition of receiving benefits, undertaking activities appropriate for them and tailored to their levels of family responsibility. While the goal is self-sufficiency, many participants in the system will obtain a part time and/or minimum wage job and, as a result, may not become completely self-sufficient. To assist these participants, Jobs FIRST has been designed to provide services that will help them stay employed even though their income is not sufficient for them to leave public assistance."
"As for the reports two recommendations, the Department is already developing quantifiable performance goals, and will include the development of a performance measurement system in the JOBS program strategic plan."
The Comptroller's letter report issued one year later concludes that the recommendations to establish performance goals and to set up a reliable information system were not implemented. The Department stated that it was awaiting the outcome of the new federal welfare legislation prior to setting goals. No significant progress had been made regarding the information system used to evaluate program success.
2. America Works, Inc.
OSC also audited the efforts of America Works, Inc.(AW) -- a program under contract with the State of New York to place AFDC recipients in private sector unsubsidized jobs. The program was reviewed (Letter Report 94-R-8) as a financial audit -- that is, it was designed to determine whether amounts claimed by AW were allowed under the contract, and whether those expenses had been incurred for services rendered according to the contract terms.
The contracts are performance based. AW received a payment when a client either: (a) enrolled in the program, or (b) was placed in a job by the program, or (c) retained the job for at least 90 calendar days.
Only a small amount of the $2.8 million claimed during the audit period was disallowed. The auditors however make a series of observations that are critical for understanding the measurement of program effectiveness when the State uses outside contractors for job placement services.
The audit states that payments to contractors should be limited to direct placements of recipients in jobs and for retention of those jobs. The audit explicitly requests that the Department eliminate the category -- "Enrollment and Entry to Employment" activities. The auditors questioned whether simple enrollment in the program, for which AW had been paid in excess of $600,000, created an incentive to enroll but not place recipients.
AW officials stated that they only billed the Department for individuals enrolled and placed in jobs. The audit findings contradict this statement and show that 40 percent of those the Department paid for under the enrollment portion of the contract had not been placed.
Similarly, the entry to employment category referred to "self-placements". This category applied to those participants in the program who were trained by AW, but found jobs on their own. One of the contracts audited made a budgetary allowance for up to 15% -- or in excess of $200,000 for such payments. The actual contract performance was for much less -- $73,000.
The Department of Social Services agreed to eliminate the first category, but not the second, stating that AW programs gave people skills they would use with or without the direct intervention of the program.
The audit notes that the Department was planning to expand the use of AW, and AW-like programs. In order to test OSC findings against national studies and to use the results to help structure future contracts, OSC auditors reviewed a sample of studies prepared by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC).
After conducting this literature review the audit concluded that the validity of programs like AW could not be evaluated as currently implemented because they did not provide for a control group against which the organization's performance could be measured. MDRC officials stated that this method was the one they relied on to determine the validity of program operator claims of success. The Department of Social Services contract had no such controls.
The audit then summarizes the literature on welfare dynamics and labor force participation as complex -- "recipients leave welfare for a variety of reasons, such as marriage, reconciliation or employment". It then further explains that where control groups are used -- the statistically significant performance of job programs have not been borne out.
...while the studies reported statistically-significant performance gains, the control groups also performed well, consistent with the normal dynamics of welfare. As a result, statistically significant gains may not necessarily translate into a cost-effective program. This may also be true of the AW program, which underscores the need for a controlled study.
Audits of Job Training Programs for Other Disadvantaged Groups
OSC has recently conducted two audits with different focuses on the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program in New York State(2). The program funds an array of initiatives targeted at various subgroups in the economy who are disadvantaged -- young people and unskilled adults -- including but not exclusively designed for welfare recipients.
1. JTPA in New York City
OSC reviewed the JTPA program in New York City for adults and youth for the period January 1, 1992 through June 30, 1994. The report entitled New York City Department of Employment Job Training Partnership Act: Better Contracting and Monitoring Procedures will Improve Program Outcomes, Report A-4-95.
a. Principle Audit Findings
The audit reaches the following conclusions:
The intent of the JTPA program is for participants to complete their training and achieve a specific level of educational and skill competency needed for employment. However, we found that some participants were terminated from the program without gaining any benefits, and most participants did not get a job .Based upon the number of participants who did not get a job, the program is not cost effective.
The audit makes the additional performance related points:
* None of the five sampled contractors were able to achieve the Department of Employment's (DOE) contract job placement performance goals. The unit costs of participant placement was therefore higher than originally intended.
* DOE failed to properly monitor activity -- 83 percent of the required monitoring forms used to evaluate the programs were missing.
* The program evaluation process was inadequate -- one contractor had a contract renewed despite two negative evaluations.
b. Discussion of Audit Findings
The audit focuses principally on the issue of how many of the program enrollees are actually placed in jobs and then how long they retain those jobs.
The audit found that none of the contractors met their DOE goals, but that one contractor came very close. The quantitative goal of the program was stated as the percentage of program enrollees who were successfully placed in jobs. Overall, for the contractors surveyed, the audit found that 45 percent of those enrolled were placed against a goal of 55 percent. When the measure is applied to those employed 90 days or more the percentage declines to 40 percent.
2. JTPA Outside of New York City
OSC conducted another audit of JTPA programs outside of New York City entitled Department of Labor: Job Training Partnership Act, Report 95-S-39 reviewed the activities of eight Service Delivery Areas (SDA's) -- Buffalo, Hempstead, Monroe, Onondaga, Rochester, Suffolk, Westchester and Yonkers. The report focused on whether and how well the programs were providing training in occupations for which future growth was expected and that require medium or high skills. The programs were targeted to disadvantaged workers -- not exclusively for welfare recipients.
a. Principal Findings
The audit concludes that the programs were generally successful in providing training in occupations where long-term employment may result. The report also found that improvements were needed in the contracting process.
The audit findings were as follows:
* Of the 3,061 participants who obtained employment -- 20% found jobs in high skilled areas and 54% found jobs in moderate-skilled jobs.
* Overall, of the number of participants who found employment -- nearly 70% found employment in "demand occupations" as defined by the General Accounting Office and the Federal Bureau of Labor Standards.
b. Discussion of Audit Findings
This audit concentrates on one aspect of the outcome of a successful placement -- where the employment was obtained.
The New York City audit focused on the relationship between the number of enrollees in the program versus the number placed in jobs -- and then retaining jobs for 90 days.
The audit of those programs outside New York City contains a chart of the total enrollees, and a separate chart for those enrollees placed in employment (the audit did not cover the status of employees at the 90 day interval).
Thus, the findings of the two audits can be made comparable in this one area by a simple calculation.
* According to the audit there were 9,343 participants who were enrolled and received service in the programs outside of New York City.
* Of this amount, 3,061 were placed in jobs -- or 32% of enrollees.
* If 70% were in "demand occupations", then 23% of those who were enrolled in JTPA programs were successfully placed.
II -- Job Creation Audits
OSC has recently completed four audits on economic development programs that retain or create jobs as part of the policy rationale to justify taxpayer supported benefits for private sector activity(3). Those programs tie a host of financial incentives to private companies -- property tax breaks, low cost financing and special tax credits in return for job creation or retention.
The jobs created or retained by these programs are not targeted to the public assistance population. Some of the programs are targeted to economically distressed areas usually in reasonable proximity to the public assistance population . All of the programs have as their central premise the stimulus of economic activity, supported by public dollars. It is assumed that these programs would be potential resources for coordination with welfare reform efforts that are designed to move people from the public assistance rolls into jobs(4).
The success or failure of these programs to meet their job creation and retention targets is directly connected to assessing New York State's preparedness for implementing the welfare-to-work provisions under the new welfare law.
A. Economic Development Job Creation and Retention Programs
OSC reviewed several agencies, under the direction of the New York State Department of Economic Development, responsible for managing programs that provide economic incentives to business. The study concentrated on the activities of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Job Development Authority (JDA). The report, Staff Study: Measuring Accomplishments of State Job Creation and Retention Programs, Report 95-D-22 reviews a five year period -- 1987 through 1992 covering in excess of $300 million in loan activity.
The Staff Study arrives at the following conclusions:
* "We determined that neither the Corporation nor the Authority has established criteria or measures for assessing the overall performance of their job creation and retention program."
* There were no independent checks of job creation or retention data.
* The job creation and retention data reviewed by OSC generally overstated the degree of success in meeting job development goals. One agency reported that they had achieved 78 percent of aggregate job development goals -- OSC's audit found the level at 30 percent. Another agency claimed achievement of 99 percent of its job development goals -- OSC's audit showed 67 percent.
* The study also highlighted the high level of delinquent loans in the portfolios of the agencies reviewed.(5)
An audit performed one year earlier focussing specifically on the Job Development Agency (JDA) looked at the outreach efforts made by companies receiving benefits from JDA to recruit poor and chronically unemployed individuals when job opportunities were created by program beneficiaries. The audit was in response to an 1984 Executive Order that required the poor and chronically unemployed to be considered for new employment opportunities created by projects that have been assisted with proceeds from the sale of federal tax-exempt bonds. The audit, New York Job Development Authority, Employment Opportunities for Disadvantaged Workers, Report 93-S-83 generated the following findings:
* "Overall, we have found that most of the assisted companies that we reviewed are not complying with the Executive Order to list employment opportunities created by the JDA funded projects. Consequently, many poor and chronically-unemployed individuals are not being considered for employment opportunities as required by JDA."
* Of the 1,142 jobs that were projected to be created by JDA activity, only 318 were actually created. And, of these jobs, 25 disadvantaged workers were hired (8 percent).
* In seven out of twelve cases JDA officials did not inform companies of the recruitment requirements of their loans, contrary to agency directives.
* Although the agency was empowered to establish penalties for non-performance, the penalties were never developed.
* Agency officials acknowledged the problems but stated that job creation was only one of its responsibilities.
Department of Economic Development (DED): Economic Development Zones
This audit, Department of Economic Development: Economic Development Zone Program, Report 95-S-78 reviewed the program through June 30, 1995. The purpose of the program is to stimulate economic growth in areas of New York State that are characterized by persistent and pervasive poverty, high unemployment, limited job creation and high incidence of public assistance receipt. The program provides tax credit and sales tax exemption for certain expenses to support economic activity in designated areas of the State in return for the creation of employment.
The report states:
* The numbers of jobs reported to DED by employers was dramatically overstated. For example, in South Jamaica the number reported hired by the annual report was 3,798, while the actual numbers reported to the auditors was 423. The three other zones surveyed had disparities that were larger.
* DED had not devised any system to assess how much each company benefited from the program or to compare the benefits to the number and type of jobs that were produced.
* The response by the agency was: "Because there is no formal contract between DED and the Zone businesses, there is no requirement or mandate they create or retain jobs."
The New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA)
This audit reviewed the efforts of the New York City Industrial Development Agency. The Agency provides economic incentives to businesses with the broad mandate to lower unemployment and prevent the economic deterioration of the local government.
The audit New York City Economic Development Corporation: Improvements needed to Strengthen Industrial Development Agency Program, Report A-6-94. The report focused on the reporting system for job creation, the level of benefits to business and the outreach effort made to the business community.
* The audit found inaccurate, unsubstantiated and unreliable systems used to monitor progress toward job retention and creation goals.
* Where the agency had collected verifiable information some companies had exceeded their job creation goals, others had not.
* There were no standards set for calculating how much of a tax benefit to give to individual businesses or how much in public subsidy should be spent per job created.
Part III -- Literature on Welfare-to-Work
There is a vast and growing literature on the subject of moving people from welfare to work. In general, the literature parallels the central points made by the audits OSC has undertaken and provides some additional insights for asking questions about the new welfare law(6)
This brief summary is limited to studies and reports that focus on welfare to work efforts that rely on quantitative methods to formulate conclusions. The specific studies relied upon most heavily for this paper are highly specialized, requiring careful attention to the presentations and to the underlying empirical studies used. The reader is advised to look at those underlying studies for a more complete picture of the research findings on welfare to work initiatives.
The central findings are as follows:
* The typical job found by a welfare mother is part-time, low wage, with low or no benefits. After child care and health expenses she and her children are often no better off from the perspective of economic well-being. (GAO, 1991). Some studies have concluded that AFDC recipients living standards improve when earnings gains exceed the reductions in AFDC payments. (Levitan and Gallo, 1993). Other studies that have included these expenses show the need for some continuous subsidy in order to improve the economic well-being of the family (Ellwood, 1988).
* Participation by welfare mothers in work programs is usually correlated with a statistically significant incidence of post-program job placement. These statistical correlates, when compared to welfare mothers in control groups shows some positive, but inconsistent results.(Levitan and Gallo, 1993).
* Most program initiatives are not gauged against a control group. When they are, attention needs to be paid to program design issues: related to the history of the client groups experience with welfare(7), whether the control group sought its own advice and support (most do), differences in time and place (local economic conditions, when programs took place). (Gueron and Pauly, 1991).
* Most of the varied work/welfare programs operated during the past three decades have never been adequately tested. (Gallo and Levitan, 1993)
* Earnings gains from welfare to work initiatives have been characterized as having "modest" success in increasing long-term earnings. Over a five year period, program participants who were the most successful achieved a total income gain compared to control groups of slightly over $2,000 -- approximately $8.40 per week. The other programs in the study produced just over $1,000 over the five year period. (Burtless and Friedman, 1995).
* The earnings gains from work programs rarely permit escape from poverty. (Danziger, 1986, Novak, et. al. 1987, Wilson, 1987, Gueron and Pauly, 1991, Levitan and Gallo, 1993).
* One recent approach presents the findings: "Although having more previous work experience increases a mother's chances of escaping poverty, it takes 10 years of work experience to raise her family's chances of escaping poverty by two-thirds (from 11 to 18 percent)". (Institute for Women's Policy Research, 1996).
* Efforts have been made to quantify the societal benefit of welfare to work programs. The method, applied differently across programs, equates societal benefit with the reduction in cash expenditures by government resulting from caseload reduction. The benefits have been minimal (Gueron and Pauly, 1991).
* Job training programs have been most successful at reducing welfare caseloads. They have not been successful with helping program participants find better paying jobs (Friedlander and Burtless, 1995).
* It is all but impossible to derive meaningful program evaluations from initiatives where employers seek government subsidies for individuals they would have hired without the inducement. (Levitan and Gallo, 1993).
* Studies on private sector initiatives to induce hiring of public assistance recipients have not worked in large measure due to employer resistance. (Danziger and Gottschalk, 1995).
* Absent the availability of jobs in locations that mothers can get to and with an income package that improves well-being, job training programs will be ineffective. (Wilson, 1996).
Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, 1994. Overview of
Entitlement Programs: 1994 Green Book, Washington: U.S. Government
Danziger, Sheldon and Gottschalk, Peter, 1995. America Unequal, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Danziger, Sheldon and Weinberg, Daniel H., ed.1986. Fighting Poverty, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Ellwood, David, P., 1988. Poor Support, New York: Basic Books.
Friedlander, Daniel and Burtless, 1995. Five Years Later: The Long-Term Effects of Welfare-to-Work Programs, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Funiciello, Theresa, 1993. Tyranny of Kindness, NewYork: Atlantic Monthly.
Gueron, Judith, and Pauly, Edward, 1991. From Welfare-to-Work, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Institute for Woman's Policy Research, 1996 "Welfare to Work: The Job Opportunities of AFDC Recipients", Research In Brief.
Levitan, Sar and Gallo, Frank, S. 1993. "Jobs for JOBS: Toward a Work-Based Welfare System", Center for Social Policy Studies, George Washington University, Paper 1993-1.
Moynihan, Daniel, P. 1996. Miles To Go, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980, New York: Basic Books.
Mead, Lawrence, Beyond Entitlement, New York: Free Press, 1986.
New York State Governor's Task Force Report on Federal Welfare Reform, October, 1996.
Novak, Michael and Cogan, John, et. al., ed. 1987. The New Consensus on Family and Welfare, Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy and Research.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.
Smeeding, Timothy. 1992. "Why the U.S. Antipoverty System Doesn't Work Very Well", Challenge 35, (January/February).
U.S. General Accounting Office, 1987. "Unemployed Parents: Evaluation of Effects of Welfare Benefits on Family Stability", PEED-92-19BR.
U.S. General Accounting Office, 1991. "Mother-Only Families: Low Earnings Will Keep many Children in Poverty", GAO/HRD-91-62.
U.S. General Accounting Office, 1993. "Welfare to Work: JOBS Participation Rate Data Unreliable for Assessing States' Performance", Washington, D.C.
Wilson, William, J., 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wilson, William, J. 1996. When Work Disappears, New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
1. Some aspects of the inadequacy of the States job training effort have been recognized by the administration. The Governor's welfare plan is seeking to remedy those shortcomings by moving the programs for job training from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Labor.
2. These audits represent the most recent reviews by the Office of the State Comptroller. Two earlier audits: New York State Department of Labor, Oversight of JTPA Employment and Training Programs, Report No. 92-S-79 and New York State Department of Labor, Job Services Program, Report No. 90-S-8 cover programs dating back through 1986. Taken as a whole, all of the job training audits, though covering different programs and asking different questions, provide a decade of continuous commentary on program performance. The conclusions of these earlier audits are very similar to those performed more recently.
3. See also an earlier audit: Economic Development Agencies: Job Reporting and Monitoring Practices Need to be Improved, Report No. 89-S-142. This report covers a program period of 1987 through 1989. Taken as a whole, the audit and staff studies of job creation programs provide a decade of continuous commentary on program progress. The conclusions of this earlier report are consistent with those undertaken more recently.
4. The Office of the State Comptroller has also conducted audits of state affirmative action efforts. They are another initiative designed to provide economic opportunity to disadvantaged populations. Those audits: Department of Civil Service: Oversight of New York State's Affirmative Action Program, Report No. 95-S-28 and Department of Economic Development: Oversight of Selected Authorities' Programs for Minority and Women's Business Enterprise, Report No. 95-S-30 document critical weaknesses in the State's efforts to provide opportunity for protected classes.
5. A companion audit, New York Job Development Authority: Management of Loan Portfolio, Report 95-S-13 found the loan review, approval and monitoring system at the authority "seriously defective and ineffective."
6. The new federal welfare law requires states to report on the level of child poverty, earnings achieved by program participants and other indicators of economic well-being. There are few requirements that any goals be achieved in these areas, but the law requires states to monitor and report on conditions.
7. The research on this issue alone is highly complex, requiring a great deal of care and critical evaluation. Most studies conclude that the longer a women is on public assistance, the less likely it is for her to leave the welfare rolls (Wilson, 1996). At the same, if one accepts the definition of program success, longer-term recipients and recidivist welfare mothers tended to reap higher net earnings gains than first-time recipients from work programs (Levitan and Gallo, 1993).