Evaluation of the ESF federal program to promote integration of long-term SGB II beneficiaries in the general labour market

The “Federal ESF programme for the integration of long-term unemployed recipients under SGB II into the general labour market” enabled the participating jobcenters to support  long-term unemployed women and men particularly far from the labor market by applying targeted contact strategies and counselling for employers, providing employment-related coaching, and offering wage subsidies. A total of around 20,400 long-term unemployed were supported under the programme (2015-2020).

The empirical concept of the evaluation combined qualitative and quantitative methods.

According to the results of the evaluation, the elements of the programme proved to be successful. After initially surprisingly high values, the beneficiaries' sense of social participation settled at a level between that of unemployed and employed persons and was thus increased overall. In addition, causal analyses show that the programme significantly raised the  probability of potentially eligible persons to take up employment subject to social insurance contributions. The employment relationships created in the course of this programme proved to be more stable than average when compared to other employment relationships. They also remain relatively stable in the medium term, even though the treatment effects decrease slightly. Moreover, employment relationships created under the programme prove to be for the most part additional, i.e., they would not have been created without the programme. In terms of economic efficiency, the level of positive employment effects implies that a positive overall fiscal balance for the programme has already been achieved between April and June 2020.