Expert: Obama’s “Job Training” Boondoggle Won’t Put People Back to Work

In his State of the Union Address, Obama proposed job training programs to end unemployment. There’s just one problem It’s been tried and failed miserably. Here’s what one of the scholars at the Heritage Foundation had to say about the matter:

More Job Training Programs on Top of All the Other Redundant and Ineffective Programs – David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D.

Tonight, President Obama called for the federal government to engage in new job training and employment initiatives, especially for the hard to employ.

Before Congress signs off on any new initiatives, we must recognize that President Obama wants to add several new programs on top of the 47 job-training programs already operated by the federal government. Further complicating the matter, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has concluded that there is little evidence that these programs are effective.

When federal job training programs have been evaluated using random assignment to job training and control groups, these scientifically rigorous evaluations overwhelmingly find that these programs are ineffective. For example, Job Corps, the federal government’s flagship program for hard-to-employ youth, has been found to be ineffective on several measures:

  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were less likely to earn a high school diploma (7.5 percent versus 5.3 percent);
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were no more likely to attend or complete college;
  • Four years after participating in the evaluation, the average weekly earnings of Job Corps participants was only $22 more than the average weekly earnings of the control group; and
  • Employed Job Corps participants earned $0.22 more in hourly wages compared to employed control group members.

Instead of adding new programs to an already bloated job training system, the President and Congress should stop wasting taxpayer dollars by terminating these programs.

You can read all the reactions of Heritage Foundation scholars to the 2012 State of the Union speech here.