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A Framework for Thinking About Job Search Assistance Programs

Robin Koralek and Jacob Klerman


June 15, 2015
Job search assistance (JSA) programs – short-term, relatively low-intensity and low-cost programs to help job seekers find jobs – are a key component of many government-funded assistance programs, including TANF and Unemployment Insurance.

Despite the crucial role of job search in helping individuals find and sustain employment, limited research has been conducted on the effectiveness of various job search methods and of the individual components that make up JSA programs. To address the limitations of existing research, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a contract for the Design Options of the Search for Employment (DOSE) study to Abt Associates in September 2011. 

This Practice Brief describes an overarching framework for thinking about JSA programs, including an overview of service delivery methods, key JSA program components, and the key steps that make up the job search process. It then describes the mechanisms affecting the job search process, including program goals. Finally, the brief presents two narratives to characterize job search assistance programs.  
North America