Utah Case Study
Online Claimant Overview & Evaluation System
The Utah Department of Workforce Services, building on its existing online reemployment initiatives, piloted and then implemented a program-wide engagement of UI claimants in required online job search assessments and learning workshops.
Design. As part of the UI claim process, claimants are required to view an online overview of reemployment services and then answer 24 questions to identify their need for basic reemployment skills. Dependent upon their answers, they are required to take one to five online reemployment workshops (Networking, Job Searching with Technology, Resumes & Applications, Interviewing and Your Workplace Skills). Failure to complete the mandatory workshops within 14 days results in denial of benefits.
Results. In its pilot phase, with REA program claimants, the state required each claimant to complete any four of nine job search modules, from “Resume” to “Interviewing” within two weeks. Of the 507 claimants selected, 31.6% initially refused to complete the expanded requirements. Utah then saw the following results:
- Engagement. Upon sanction, Utah was able to re-engage 25.1%, who completed their work search assignment.
- Preparedness. Claimants improved their job search preparedness scores from a D+ to a B+ average and completed 36% more training modules than required.
- Integrity. Six and a half percent of claimants ultimately chose to refuse to participate, even after screening out nonparticipants who did not show up for the initial REA interview. Statewide, in Utah, a 6.5% claimant opt out, due to lack of need, interest or willingness, etc., will amount to nearly $17 M in savings, larger than the state’s two largest UI integrity cross matching efforts, combined.
In July 2012, Utah expanded the idea statewide, engaging 92% of all UI claimants in its new program that assesses and directs claimants to engage in work search training and education.
This dynamic online overview and evaluation system is part of a comprehensive effort started in 2009 to retool Utah’s reemployment efforts. The effort also includes complementary strategies of:
- A wage subsidy program that gives UI claimants an opportunity to get a foot in the door
- New job matching software that improves the connectivity of Labor Market Information
- An REA grant which focuses on second tier profiled claimants
- An online eligibility review interview (ERI) that resulted in an increase from 3% to 17% in eligibility reviews at no additional administrative cost.