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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Targeted job creation : one federal response to long term unemployment Harper, Mary Jane


Since 1985, the direct job creation efforts of the federal government have been targeted on the long term unemployed, under the Job Development Program, in response to the increased incidence of long term unemployment since the recession. This research was initiated to provide early feedback on a program of individually subsidized jobs, as a demand-side employment initiative targeted on individuals who had been unemployed for approximately six months. The research was a descriptive analysis of the experience of 64 program participants, in an area of Vancouver with a high ethnic population where there is traditionally high unemployment. An experimental, uncontrolled, single group design was used to compare client characteristics as program input, as well as program intervention, agency administration and labour market conditions, to program outcomes. The variable that demonstrated the strongest association with outcome was the relative demand for labour in the local labour market in which the job had been subsidized. There was also evidence from the research that factors within the subsidized job setting may influence the successful re-adaptation of long term unemployed individuals into the work force. The opportunity for career advancement as well as supervision on-the-job that is supportive of the individual who is re-adapting to a work environment, was each positively-correlated with program outcome. While the results were inconclusive for some of the client characteristics measured in the study, others were clearly found to be poor predictors of program success. Targeted job creation strategies like the Individually Subsidized Job program, respond not only to cyclical unemployment but address issues of structural unemployment through the targeting of these employment initiatives on employment disadvantaged groups. Although only tentative judgements can be drawn from the research, it suggests that program administration which is sensitive to labour market conditions, as well as to conditions within the job site itself, may improve the outcome of public employment initiatives.

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