All jobseekers involved in the experiment initially passed through the main public unemployment agency ANPE. People in the experiment are jobseekers identified by caseworkers as "at risk of long-term unemployment" and were classified into three different categories:
Population 1: Newly unemployed at risk of long-term unemployment - people who have just entered unemployment and are eligible for more than 120 days of unemployment benefits;
Population 2: Stock Unemployed at risk of long-term unemployment - those who were already unemployed at the beginning of the experiment;
Population 3: Ineligible Newly Unemployed at risk of long-term unemployment - people that have just become unemployed, but are eligible for less than 120 days of unemployment
Two separate programs were designed to support job seekers who have been, or are at risk of long-term unemployment:
(1) Cap Vers l'Entreprise (CVE), provided directly by ANPE;
(2) Opérateurs Privés de Placement (OPP), supplied by private firms mandated by UNEDIC.
Each program offered similar forms of assistance and support which consisted of weekly personal counseling and monitoring by a counselor who worked with a limited number of jobseekers. The counseling lasted for at most six months and aimed to assist jobseekers in finding stable employment. This included an intensive follow-up, with at least a weekly contact (email, phone) and a monthly face-to-face meeting between the job seeker and his personal counselor. Compared to the usual track, where a contact is supposed to take place every month, this is a significant increase in human resources dedicated to follow the job seeker. The support also included continued monitoring of the individuals in their new employment.
The OPP program only accepted ineligible newly unemployed people (population 1). The CVE program accepted all three populations (population 1-2-3)