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Assessing active labour-market programs: How effective is Ontario Works?

TitleAssessing active labour-market programs: How effective is Ontario Works?
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAdams, J., Chow K., and Rosé D.
InstitutionC.D. Howe Institute
CityToronto, ON

The Ontario Works social assistance program assigns beneficiaries to employment assistance activities intended to prepare them for finding and maintaining employment. Ontario Works provides income support to a substantial swath of the population: approximately 449,000 beneficiaries (over 3.3 percent of the population) received some form of assistance from Ontario Works in 2016. Some of the key findings: 1. The average recipient is better off being assigned only to a training program rather than also being assigned to a structured job search 2. A combination of workshops and training with a structured job search actually increases the length of time on benefits by 4.6 months 3. When used on their own, direct job placements add 16.6 months to the time spent on social assistance but reduce the rate at which people return to social assistance

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