The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 established a nationwide system of public employment offices, now known as the Employment Service. The Employment Service seeks to improve the functioning of the nation's labor markets by bringing together individuals seeking employment with employers seeking workers.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Employment Service offices are collocated with the approximately 2,400 American Job Centers nationwide.

The American Job Center network, part of the One-Stop system, provides universal access to an integrated array of labor exchange services so that workers, job seekers, and employers can find the services they need. The Wagner-Peyser Employment Service focuses on providing a variety of services including job search assistance, help getting a job referral, and placement assistance for job seekers. Additionally, re-employment services are available for unemployment insurance claimants, as well as recruitment services to employers with job openings. Services are delivered in one of three modes including self-service, facilitated self-help services and staff assisted service delivery approaches.

The services offered to employers, in addition to referral of job seekers to available job openings, include assistance in development of job order requirements, matching job seeker experience with job requirements and skills, assisting employers with special recruitment needs, arranging job fairs, assisting employers analyze hard-to-fill job orders, assisting with job restructuring, and helping employers deal with layoffs. Job seekers who are veterans receive priority referrals to jobs and training as well as special employment services and assistance. In addition, the system provides specialized attention and service to individuals with disabilities, migrant and seasonal farm-workers, justice-involved individuals, youth, minorities, and older workers.

Changes to the Wagner-Peyser Final Rule on Merit Staffing

On January 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the final rule to remove the requirement that states hire state merit staff for Employment Service activities provided under the Wagner-Peyser Act . Under the final rule, states have greater hiring flexibility in the provision of Wagner-Peyser Act-funded activities and services. The final rule became effective on February 5, 2020, and has been published at

To find local Employment Service resources, using the American Job Center Finder or call ETA's toll-free help line.

Services are designed to meet local needs and may vary from state to state. Some services have eligibility requirements; be sure to check with your local American Job Center for details.

Monitor Advocate System

Job seekers who are migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) receive qualitatively equivalent and quantitatively proportionate employment and training services as non-MSFWs. The Wagner-Peyser Act funds the Monitor Advocate System, whose primary responsibility is to ensure equity of service to MSFWs. Learn more about the Monitor Advocate System .

Related Links