Everyone has to call in sick at work at some point. With caseworkers at the employment office, however, a sudden absence has direct economic consequences for a third party: The people they support are unemployed on average five percent longer if a meeting is canceled, which corresponds to a period of twelve days. This may sound rather trivial, but it can entail considerable costs for both the welfare state and the individual concerned.
Amelie Schiprowski, economist of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn (Germany), evaluated Swiss unemployment insurance data from 2010 to 2012 and investigated how much the personal interaction with caseworkers matters for unemployed individuals. She found out: The duration of unemployment depends to a large extent on how reliable and committed the support provided by the employment office is.
Regular support important for reintegration
Caseworkers at the employment office help to reintegrate