Labor Exchange Policy in the United States

Labor Exchange Policy in the United States

Labor Exchange Policy in the United States

Labor Exchange Policy in the United States

Synopsis

This book describes the evolution of labor exchange policy in the United States, summarizes the major findings about the effectiveness of labor exchange services, and offers reflections on the future for labor exchange policy. In addition, the contributors provide an international perspective on job brokerage functions and a discussion on the appropriate role for governments in helping job seekers and employers make the proper job match.

Excerpt

Seventy years ago, during the depths of the Great Depression, the federal government instituted a national labor exchange policy to aid economic recovery and labor market stability. Considered by some an important step toward preserving a capitalist economic system in the United States, the Roosevelt Administration and Congress established a federal–state system of public employment offices. Throughout subsequent economic, social, and political changes, the federal–state system under the Wagner-Peyser Act has provided steady and equitable labor exchange services to job seekers and employers. In the policy debate about workforce development reform since the 1980s, proposals have repeatedly surfaced to assimilate state labor exchange services under the Wagner-Peyser Act into local job training structures. Employment services in the United States are now delivered mainly through one-stop centers established by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. Among all the services available at the nearly 3,500 one-stop centers and affiliated sites nationwide, labor exchange services are used most often.

This book describes the evolution of labor exchange policy in the United States, summarizes the major findings about the effectiveness of labor exchange services, and offers reflections on the future of labor exchange policy. The chapters in this volume provide an overview of U.S. labor exchange policy, focusing principally on the last three decades of the 20th century. One chapter explores how the labor exchange system incorporated tools of the information age during the 1990s to advance one-stop center customer service techniques and self-service job finding methods. Another chapter closely examines the intergovernmental tensions over funding and delivery of services. Other chapters describe how federal, state, and local governments administer labor exchange and other workforce development services. Systems for evaluation and evidence on effectiveness of labor exchange services are also reviewed.

Under the original Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, state Employment Service (ES) agencies could be affiliated with the U.S. Employment Service only if they provided regular labor exchange services at no cost to employers and job seekers who are eligible to work in the United States. This universal service requirement was expanded to participants of adult and dislocated worker programs under Title I of WIA. Consequently, there has been an increase in the . . .

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