Sep 24 2011
06:42 am

I've been hearing about the Georgia jobs program over the past couple of days, and based on this NY Times article, my first question has got to be what defines success? (emphasis mine)

Since the recession began, the Georgia program has been held up as a national example, and a close look shows that it has pleased employers and produced steady paychecks for workers. But economists say there is little evidence that participants find work faster. And a lack of promotion, limited oversight and budget constraints have limited the program, Georgia Works, to a tiny portion of the state’s nearly half a million unemployed workers. Only about 120 people have been hired because of it this year.

That's 120 people out of 500,000 leaving 499,880 people still unemployed in the state of Georgia. This is held up as an example of success? So, let's look at some longer-term success rates of this program.

Since the program began in 2003, only 18 percent of those who completed the training have been hired by the employer that trained them, according to data released this week by the state labor department. More recently, job placement has declined to about 10 percent.

So, proponents of this program say it keeps the unemployed "tethered" to the work place, but, are they really? Employers get 8 weeks of free labor while sucking the proverbial government teat (so-called trainees are still receiving unemployment benefits).

Bottom line, as long as employers have this long line of potential free labor to pull from, 8 weeks at a time, why bother hiring someone full time?


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