Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy

Subsidized Employment


Subsidized employment is a promising strategy for boosting incomes and improving labor market outcomes and well-being, especially for disadvantaged workers. The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality's spring 2016 report on subsidized employment, "Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs," is the most extensive review on this topic to date. It was featured in The Atlantic article, “The Case for a New WPA,” which discussed the potential of a national subsidized jobs program.

This report evaluates subsidized employment programs and models spanning four decades that target populations with serious or multiple barriers to employment in the United States. It includes a framework aimed at helping practitioners develop more innovative and effective programs by identifying key elements of program design and implementation and a set of recommendations for policymakers and practitioners for further use of subsidized jobs programs.

Executive Summary of the report available here.


"Lessons Learned From 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs" has received a great deal of attention from the media and practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. In particular, the report is included in the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). Also, The Atlantic featured the report in “The Case for a New WPA,” which considered the promise for a national subsidized jobs program.

The center also published exclusive articles and blog posts for outlets like The Crime Report and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.

The report was featured in many other organizations' newsletters. 

  • E-News, National Skills Coalition
  • NTJN National Initiatives, Heartland Alliance National Initiatives
  • This Week at the Academy, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
  • NASWA Newswire
  • Covering Poverty: A Toolkit for Journalists
  • OFA PeerTA, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


The center joined Community Legal Services and the Community Justice Project in submitting comments on Pennsylvania's proposed WIOA Combined State Plan. The comments outline the importance of allocating the full share of funding under WIOA that may be dedicated to transitional employment, a form of subsidized employment that focuses on transitioning workers into unsubsidized employment. 

The center will continue to lead the conversation on this proven and promising employment strategy, including hosting an upcoming webinar for practitioners and advocates and a policy proposal for a national subsidized jobs program to be published by the Russell Sage Foundation in fall 2016.





Subsidized Employment paper cover Spring 2016Report released spring 2016: "Lessons Learned From 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs."

Contact Information

For further information, please contact report co-authors Indivar Dutta-Gupta,, or Kali Grant,

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