Dislocated Workers:

Comparison of Assistance Programs

HRD-92-153BR: Published: Sep 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program's (TAA) and the Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance (EDWAA) Program's services to dislocated workers, focusing on: (1) whom the programs serve; (2) how their services differ; (3) the outcomes for workers; and (4) coordination of services for TAA-eligible workers.

GAO found that: (1) TAA served a higher proportion of hard-to-place workers, such as female workers, older workers, and less educated workers, than did EDWAA; (2) it could find no pattern in the proportion of minorities served; (3) differences between TAA and EDWAA participants were due to the differences in the workers in industries affected by imports; (4) both programs were slow in providing training to workers, despite studies that showed early training intervention before or at time of layoff lessened the time of unemployment and enhanced subsequent earnings; (5) more TAA participants than EDWAA participants were enrolled in training lasting longer than 26 weeks, because EDWAA seldom provided income support after workers exhausted their unemployment insurance, whereas TAA often provided extended income support; (6) EDWAA provided more on-the-job training than TAA; (7) EDWAA required states to collect placement rate and wage information data on participants, while TAA did not, which made reliable data on TAA participants unavailable; and (8) coordination of services between TAA and EDWAA was limited despite legislative directives.

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