Mississippi Case Study



Implemented in 2010, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) developed its Online Employment Services System in partnership with the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center at Mississippi State University. Its goal: To create a web-based real-time triage system that enables the state to integrate the delivery of all programs for job seekers.

Design. Like Louisiana’s approach, the MDES System focused on robust engagement. UI claimants with a first payment simultaneously register with the Employment Service system and then, if still unemployed, engage with a local office at the 8th and 12th weeks of their claim for eligibility reviews and reemployment assistance. From July 2012 to June 2013, MDES scheduled 24% of claimants for local office connections. Of those, 73% engaged with the agency’s program. Failure to respond at a local office results in suspension of benefits until the job seeker responds and engages.

To support claimant job seekers in landing jobs, the MDES System improves job board functionality and provides key capabilities such as:

  • Integration with Unemployment Insurance
  • Intelligent job matching and career services for job seekers
  • Gap analysis to assist job seekers in understanding what qualifications are needed to bridge the gap between their current qualifications and demands of particular jobs
  • Easy-to-understand labor market information to assist in understanding career opportunities and skill changes needed
  • Self-service job board functionality for employers and job seekers
  • Case management tools to provide better customer service with fewer staff

Results. The goals of the MDES initiative were to improve job seeker reemployment result by 1) increasing the number of job seeker registrations, 2) increasing number of job referrals, 3) increasing the number of job orders, 4) increasing employer users and 5) job placements.

In 2010, the program’s first year, 123,486 new job seekers registered and held steady over the past three years. This represented a 21% increase from 2009. In the first year, the program generated 327,601 job referrals (a 334% increase over 2009) and increased another 24% to 404,352 job referrals by 2013. In the first year, job orders increased 676% to 17,241. In 2013, orders rose another 26% to over 21,000.

Placements have steadily increased, reaching 30,935 in 2013 while employer registrations grew to 3,228. The initiative has assisted MDES in reducing claim duration by 17% (currently 15.4 weeks) and saved the UI Trust Fund an estimated $5.6 million.

More About Unemployment Insurance