Michigan Job Seekers Study

Last registered on June 13, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Michigan Job Seekers Study
Initial registration date
February 26, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 02, 2019, 1:03 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
June 13, 2024, 12:20 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


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Primary Investigator

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project investigates whether new job search tools can increase workers’ transitions, employment, and earnings. Our intervention provides workers information on occupations offering relatively high wages and rapid employment conditional on their past labor market experience, education, and demographic characteristics. Workers access this information through a user-friendly website and smartphone app. Our implementing partner administers employment services to workers in southwest Michigan. Alongside this partner, we evaluate this intervention using a randomized controlled trial that links individuals to administrative UI records. This project sheds light on whether innovative low-cost tools can improve employment prospects and matches. We also learn about whether barriers to information acquisition meaningfully hinder worker search.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bartik, Alexander and Bryan Stuart. 2024. "Michigan Job Seekers Study." AEA RCT Registry. June 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3949-2.0
Former Citation
Bartik, Alexander and Bryan Stuart. 2024. "Michigan Job Seekers Study." AEA RCT Registry. June 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3949/history/224286
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Job seekers are assigned to Group A, Group B, or Group C. These users are invited to three different versions of a website that provides job-search information with each version providing different types or amounts of information.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes from administrative data are indicators for whether an individual is employed in each of the four quarters after random assignment; whether an individual has quarterly earnings above a certain threshold; and the level of quarterly earnings (with and without adjustments for outliers). The primary outcomes from the endline survey include measures of whether individuals believe they have a good idea of the types of jobs that are good matches for them, subjective well-being, financial security, depression, and anxiety. We also will construct measures of the expected utility from the occupation in which individuals are employed. We will analyze these results using intent-to-treat analyses as well as treatment-on-the-treated analyses (where treated is defined as having spent a minimal amount of time on the site). We will use a data-driven approach to select control variables for some specifications. We also will address any imbalance in survey response rates between the treatment and control groups through a bounding exercise and randomized survey completion incentives.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The secondary outcomes from weekly surveys include job search intensity and the direction of job search. The weekly surveys are not incentivized, so the reliability of these measures is uncertain. The intake survey also allows us to examine heterogeneity in the effects of the intervention.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Job-seekers coming into four Michigan one-stop job centers will fill out an intake survey the first time they come in, as part of the normal process of beginning to receive services at the one-stop job center. Individuals completing this intake survey will be asked if they want to participate in a research study about job-search tools. After completing this intake survey, job-seekers consenting to be in the study will be randomly assigned to be offered website and app version A, B, or C with different types of job-search information. 50% of people will be assigned to website B, 25% to website A and 25% to website C.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in the job-search app/website by computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual individuals are randomized into group A, B, or C.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Treatment is not clustered.
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1250 individuals: Group A (tailored job information)
2500 individuals: Group B (general job information)
1250 individuals: Group C (tailored job information with training information)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number