About the Study

In 2017, the Chief Evaluation Office partnered with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to fund contractors Urban Institute, George Washington University, Capital Research Corporation, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to conduct an analysis of employer performance measurement approaches required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

WIOA requires the public workforce system to report a primary performance indicator of its effectiveness in serving employers. The knowledge development and analysis examines the appropriateness, reliability, and validity of three proposed measures of effectiveness:

  • Retention with the Same Employer: Percentage of participants who exit and are employed with the same employer in the second and fourth quarters after exit.
  • Repeat Business Customers: Percentage of employers receiving services in a given year who also received services within the previous three years.
  • Employer Penetration Rate: Percentage of employers using services out of all employers in the state.

The study also analyzed other measures used by states, local areas, and Federal agencies to assess effectiveness in serving employers.

This Department of Labor-funded study helps meet requirements of Section 116 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). It contributes to the growing labor evidence-base to inform performance measurement and employment and training programs and policies and addresses Department strategic goals and priorities.

Download the summary

Project Duration: 36 Months

Contract End Date: September 2020

Contractor: The Urban Institute, with George Washington University, Capital Research Corporation, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov


The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.