Publication Date



ETA Occasional Paper 2004-08


The proposed Back to Work Incentive Act of 2003 recommended personal reemployment accounts (PRA) that would provide each eligible UI (unemployment insurance) claimant with a special account of up to $3,000 to finance reemployment activities. Account funds could be used to purchase intensive, supportive, and job training services. Any funds remaining in the PRA could be paid as a cash bonus for reemployment within 13 weeks, or drawn as extended income maintenance for exhaustees of regular UI benefits. Personal reemployment account offers would be targeted to UI beneficiaries most likely to exhaust their UI entitlements using state Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) models. The draft legislation called for a budget of $3.6 billion for PRAs, with the money to be committed over a two-year period. This report provides a simulation analysis of questions relevant to implementation of PRAs by states. The analysis is done using data for the state of Georgia. Simulations rely on recent patterns of intensive, supportive and training services use. Simulations for alternative rules setting the PRA amount and varying behavioral responses are examined. Like the legislative proposal, simulated PRA offers are targeted using WPRS models. The key question examined is, how many PRA offers can a state make given a fixed budget? Proposed and alternative rules for sub-state budget allocation are also examined. The framework presented in this paper allows the exploration of several behavioral responses to incentives created by the PRA.


U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Published Version

Essay in Selected Research Papers on Personal Reemployment Accounts, [prepared for] U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Policy Development and Research. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 2005

Issue Date

May 2004


U.S. Department of Labor grant: G-7401-9-00-87-60

Subject Areas

UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Unemployment insurance; Worker profiling; WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; Labor exchange




O'Leary, Christopher J. and Randall W. Eberts. 2004. "Personal Reemployment Accounts: Simulations for Planning Implementation." ETA Occasional Paper No. 2004-08. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.