Employment policies and data

OECD-EC project on policy impact evaluation through the use of linked administrative and survey data


The OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS), the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the Competence Centre on Microeconomic Evaluation (CC-ME) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) are working jointly on a five-year project that supports evidence-informed policymaking in the field of labour market and social policies. The project has a dual aim to improve the effectiveness of ALMPs based on the results of the CIEs and strengthen the countries’ capacity for evidence-informed policy making.

Countries employ a variety of active labour market policies (ALMPs) to address gaps in labour market opportunities and improve jobseekers’ employability. Accurately evaluating these policies can identify what works and for whom. These evaluations (especially counterfactual impact evaluations, CIEs) provide valuable information for making informed policy choices, establishing the accountability of public expenditures, and building support for continued deployment of measures in the longer-term. A key requirement for such evaluations is the use of rich data of good quality, which can be obtained by linking different registers as well as surveys. Such data and CIEs are also important tools for the evaluation of several labour market and social policies.




Source: Impact evaluation of labour market policies through the use of linked administrative data, 2019 


This project provides an opportunity to carry out CIEs of selected measures in different countries and provide related policy recommendations. In addition, it builds a forum for exchange and learning between countries. 

The project currently covers 5 EU countries and 1 non-EU country:

Lithuania (2021-22)

CIE of vocational training for unemployed people and employment subsidies


Technical Report


Finland (2021-22)

Assessment of ALMP impact evaluation system
CIE of training measures

Ireland (2022-23)

CIE of the Community Employment programme

Sequence of referrals to ALMPs

Slovenia (2023-24)

CIE of vocational training for unemployed people and unemployment subsidies



Peer learning events

Experts workshop (2019)

Technical workshop, October 2023 (presentations included)

High-level policy event (expected end 2024)

Greece (2021-23)

CIE of training for unemployed people and employment subsidies



Technical report


Technical presentation

Portugal (2022-23)

CIE of an internship programme for unemployed people (COVID-19 policy response)

Canada (2021-22)

Review and assessment of the framework for impact evaluations of ALMPs
(The work on Canada is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada)





















 Key questions

How does participation in ALMPs affect the probability of employment, job quality and sustainability, career progression and the match between occupations and jobseekers’ skills?

How do the effects of ALMPs vary across different individuals, time and the economic cycle?
What are effective combinations and sequences of ALMPs?
What does an effective system of ALMP impact evaluations look like?


Related work by the OECD and the European Commission

OECD -  Active Labour Market Policies: Connecting People with Jobs

OECD work in co-operation with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support:
• Impact evaluation of Send@ - a digital tool for Public Employment Service counsellors in Spain, 2020-22
• Improving the Provision of Active Labour Market Policies in Estonia, 2019-20
• Modernisation of the management of statistical and analytical information at the Spanish Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security, 2019-20
• Connecting people with jobs. Evaluating Latvia's Active Labour Market Policies, 2019

Recent studies by the CC-ME of the JRC in support of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, carried out under the Data Fitness Initiative for CIE (IrelandFlandersPortugalUmbria - ItalyLatvia).
Guidance documents produced by the CC-ME of the JRC in support of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion:
• Advanced counterfactual evaluation methods. Guidance document, 2019
• How to use administrative data for European Social Funds counterfactual impact evaluations. A step-by-step guide for managing authorities, 2020
• Counterfactual impact evaluation of European Social Fund interventions in practice. Guidance document for managing authorities, 2020



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