New FGA research shows labor crisis would be eased if states utilized employment and training programs
- BY FGA
Naples, FL—A Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) report explains how states can assign able-bodied adults on food stamps to employment and training (E&T) programs in order to improve labor force participation.
As the country continues to face near-record-low labor force participation, Congress has only worsened the situation with the continued suspension of work requirements for certain able-bodied adults receiving food stamps. However, states can look to their already-established E&T programs to provide able-bodied adults an alternative pathway into the workforce. These programs provide participants with work training, job coaching, and other career-related resources to help them re-enter the labor force.
Currently, 42 states and territories exempt 100 percent of potential mandatory participants from E&T programs. This low participation rate has allowed E&T program managers to allocate 84 percent of the $1 billion in funding for E&T programs to administrative costs rather than to participants. For example, less than 10 percent of Georgia’s $10 million E&T program budget will be spent on participant costs. In Montana, only one in 10 dollars will be spent on voluntary participants.
“State policymakers need to recognize that they have the solution to their current labor crisis: well-funded, but vastly underutilized E&T programs. If every state required work registrants to participate in E&T programs and they all found employment as a result of these programs, it could fill every open job in the nation,” said Hayden Dublois, Deputy Research Director at FGA. “Nothing is stopping states from requiring work-capable adults to participate in employment and training programs, and states should ensure these individuals know about the opportunities available to them.”
To ensure taxpayer dollars are funding programs that benefit the truly needy, policymakers should require work-capable adults on food stamps to participate in E&T programs.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that promotes public policy solutions to create opportunities for every American to experience the American Dream. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.