WorkSource is working, study says

The state’s WorkSource system is a good taxpayer investment, according to a new study released today by the Employment Security Department.

The state’s WorkSource system is a good taxpayer investment, according to a new study released today by the Employment Security Department.

The “Assessment of the effect of WorkSource job-search services” found that, even during the depths of the Great Recession, unemployed workers tended to find work faster after using WorkSource job-search services.

Further, during the 21 months covered by the study, WorkSource clients earned an average of $1,980 more than job seekers who didn’t seek job-search assistance. During the final 12 months of the study, the average difference in earnings was $2,085 a year.

Researchers followed nearly 9,000 unemployment-insurance recipients from the fourth quarter of 2007, at the beginning of the recession, through the second quarter of 2009, when the recession officially ended. The study group was divided between individuals who received WorkSource services during the first six months of the study period and a demographically similar group who did not use WorkSource during that period.

“This study shows that taking a little time up front to get help with your job-seeking skills can actually help you return to work faster and at a better wage,” said Employment Security Commissioner Dale Peinecke.

WorkSource customers were less likely to be employed in the first quarter while participating in workshops and other employment services and, thus, their earnings were lower in the first two quarters of the study. However, the pattern shifted for the remainder of the study period, with WorkSource clients enjoying more sustained employment and greater earnings than non-clients.

“It’s a competitive job market out there, and I was getting absolutely nowhere with my job hunt,” said Dave Wallace, who sought help from WorkSource Everett. “WorkSource staff showed me how to look for work, create a targeted résumé and interview with employers. It made all the difference for me.”  

The study also investigated whether the federal funding spent on the WorkSource system produced benefits to society as a whole. Assuming costs ranged from $100 to $500 per customer, the study calculated an average “social return on investment” of 14 to 23 percent. The return was most dramatic for woman, ranging from 16 to 34 percent, while the return for men was 12 to 18 percent.

Other benefits to Washington’s government and taxpayers, such as reduced unemployment-benefit payouts as well as increased spending and higher tax revenue from the re-employed workers, were not factored into the social return on investment.

“There’s no doubt that taxpayers’ investment in WorkSource is really paying off,” said Peinecke.

WorkSource is a partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services throughout Washington. Nearly 280,000 people in Washington received assistance from WorkSource in 2012.

For more information, visit a local WorkSource career center or read about it online at go2worksource.com.

More in Business

Remember 1993

Twenty-five years ago, business took a beating in Olympia. The swing to the left in the 1992 general election was swift and potent. It drove higher costs to employers and more government regulations.

Remembering Ed Carlson, Vietnam POW

Since last Veteran’s Day, Ken Burns’ in-depth documentary on the Vietnam War has aired. It is a powerful reminder of an unpopular war in which many “baby boomers” fought and died.

LiveLocal98022 meeting cancelled

Bob Green, the night’s speaker, notified the organization he couldn’t attend due to an illness.

Expanded Panama Canal among challenges for Washington Ports

The $5.4 billion spent to expand the Panama Canal is paying off for East Coast and Gulf of Mexico seaports; however, it is putting more pressure on the Northwest to remain competitive.

Players taking a knee hurting the NFL | Don Brunell

On a recent Saturday afternoon in Portland, a young woman stepped onto the playing field at the beginning of the University of Montana vs Portland State football game and started singing our national anthem. She immediately drew a blank on the words and briefly stopped, but as she started apologizing, the fans spontaneously took up the singing.

New metal collecting machine may clean up contaminated waters

There is a new machine being tested in Montana which could decontaminate toxic mine tailings while recovering valuable precious minerals for everyday use.

Workshop will focus on business, social media

All are invited to learn how social media can impact business and how it can be used to create a positive experience for customers.

Impact of Hirst decision must be address

In Washington, the legislative stalemate over permitting new household wells and the state’s construction budget has not only delayed needed funding for public projects, but triggered yet another salvo in the wider conflict over future supplies of fresh water for people, fish and farms.

Mitigate massive wildfire danger | Don Brunell

At last count firefighters were battling 82 major wildfires in 10 western states. The fires have already scorched 2,300 square miles of forests and range lands, dislocated thousands of people, and burned hundreds of homes and buildings.

Silver linings to Hurricane Harvey | Don Brunell

All of the things that went wrong in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, appear to have been corrected with Houston’s recent Hurricane Harvey. Chalk it up to a series of important lessons learned.

Workshops aim to help small business owners and startups | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County Library System, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is offering two workshops to help entrepreneurs start and grow a successful business as well as share tips to advance existing small businesses.

Dan Evans would serve America well | Don Brunell

Recently, family, friends and dignitaries gathered at Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles to celebrate the designation of the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness at Olympic National Park honoring Washington’s distinguished three-term governor and U.S. Senator.