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Dec 12 -- The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) invites comments to OMB concerning a proposed extension without changes for the authority to conduct the information collection request (ICR) titled, “Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Activity and Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Outcomes.” Consideration will be given to all written comments received by January 11, 2023.

The Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) program, mandated by the Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993, Public Law 103-152, identifies and ranks unemployment insurance (UI) claimants by their potential for exhausting benefits before returning to work and refers these claimants to appropriate reemployment services. The goal is to provide the reemployment services that would be most helpful to the claimant as soon as possible.  Statistical models or characteristic screens are employed to identify those claimants who are most likely to exhaust benefits.  This identification process allows states to target resources to those most in need.

WPRS is a required UI activity that each state may operate as a standalone program or integrated within the state's Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA) program, which is a voluntary reemployment program authorized by Section 306 of the Social Security Act (SSA). Specifically, states participating in the RESEA program may opt to integrate WPRS into the RESEA participant selection process. States that fully integrate WPRS into their RESEA program and provide RESEA services statewide are exempt from WPRS reporting because WPRS activities are fully reflected in RESEA quarterly report (ETA 9128 and ETA 9129).  

The ETA 9048 and ETA 9049 reports are the only means of tracking the activities in the WPRS program in instances where states have not volunteered to participate in RESEA, opted to not integrate WPRS into their RESEA program design, or continue provide WPRS services in areas not currently served by RESEA. The ETA 9048 report describes the number of claimants at various points in the WPRS system from initial profiling through the completion of specific reemployment services. The ETA 9049 describes the reemployment experience of profiled claimants selected for referral to services by examining the state's existing wage record files to capture which quarter the individuals who received reemployment services became employed, what wages they earned, and whether the individuals receiving services changed industries. Section 303(a)(6), SSA, authorizes this information collection.

States that opt not to include WPRS into their RESEA program design or only offer RESEA in limited locations must continue to submit the ETA 9048 and ETA 9049. Based on analysis of historical data and state's planned RESEA activities, ETA projects that up to 5 states per year will continue to report WPRS activities using the ETA 9048 and ETA 9049, and burden estimates have been revised to reflect this projected level of activity. Additional information about the integration of WPRS into RESEA is available in Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 10-22 and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 05-21, “Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Funding Allotments and Operating Guidance for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Grants.”

These reports provide counts of services and outcome measures for those served by the states and are used to monitor the program.  The data uses counts of reemployment services and the subsequent wage records of WPRS participants to analyze the effectiveness of the reemployment services intervention.  Thus, states may make adjustments in their programs to make them more effective.  Section 4(a), paragraph C of PL 103-152 requires that states collect information for purposes of improving their methodology of identification.  The ETA 9048 report is the count of activities of WPRS claimants and the ETA 9049 is a report of wage records after claimants have received services.  These reports track the reemployment services provided to claimants and the successes of referred claimants.    
 
States have been encouraged to automate the WPRS process as much as possible.  Selection of participants, feedback from the service providers, and searches of wage records for reemployment outcomes are all automated processes.  States establish agreements with service providers to obtain necessary WPRS data about the services provided.  All reporting is done electronically through an automated reporting interface that states use for the submission of all UI-related data.

WPRS webpage: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/american-job-centers/worker-profiling-remployment-services
ETA submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202209-1205-001 Click on IC List for questionnaire, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-26911
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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