Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services

Overview

The Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) system was established nationwide following the 1993 enactment of Public Law 103-152. The law required state employment security agencies to profile new claimants for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to identify those most likely to exhaust their regular benefits and refer them to reemployment services to promote a faster transition to new employment.

In response to legislation enacted by Congress, the State of Washington initially developed a statistical profiling model in 1995 using logistic regression analysis with updates to the profiling model occurring every other year beginning in 2014. Model development was based upon both economic and statistics consideration.  The SAS PROC LOGISTIC procedure (SAS Institute, 1999), which fits a logistical regression model for binary data by the method of Maximum Likelihood, was used to model the probability of exhaustion for an individual claimant as a logistic function of industry, occupation, WDA, education, benefit year starting quarter, potential duration, WBA, employer benefit ratio, and state unemployment rate.

How is the worker profile score determined?

The worker profile score is based on labor market information and other specific elements gathered during the initial claims process.  The development of the worker profiling model, per WAC 192-180-060, is to base the profiling model upon all valid claims with a benefit year ending date that falls within a specified two-year time period. Screen out (a) members of unions participating in the referral union program (see WAC 192-210-100) and (b) claimants who do not have a job search requirement (employer attached-Standby, Commissioner Approved Training, unemployed due to strike or lockout, partially unemployed, or those in a  Shared Work program) after all wages for the claimant on the current claim have been received. For the remaining claimants with a job search requirement, statistically combine information on industry, occupation and other personal characteristics, and labor market characteristics to generate a numerical score indicating the likelihood of exhausting benefits before finding work.

The scores may range from 0% (no likelihood of exhaustion) to 100% (certainty of exhaustion). Rank claimants based on their individual score from least likely to most likely to exhaust. The higher the profile score that you receive, the greater likelihood of exhausting your unemployment benefits.

 
The profile score is currently determined by

  • Your education level.
  • The county where you live.
  • Your primary occupation (the occupation showing the largest amount of earnings in your base year).
  • The industry in which you received the most earnings in your recent work.
  • The Statewide unemployment rate.
  • Time of the year in which you apply for unemployment (which quarter you apply in)
  • Potential duration of your unemployment benefits (weeks of benefits)
  • Your unemployment Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)

How does it work?

Data elements needed for profiling purposes are collected from claimants during the initial claims and/or work registration process and entered into a computer database used to profile claimants. Necessary labor market information data are also entered. 

Claimants who have been issued a first payment are then profiled using a two-step approach. Claimants who are on recall or who use a union hiring hall are first excluded. Then, the remaining claimants are either assigned a probability of exhaustion through a logistical regression model or additional characteristic screens are used to identify the appropriate claimants. Claimants are ranked, highest to lowest, in order of their probability of exhaustion of benefits.

How does the worker profile score impact eligibility for the Self Employment Assistance Program?

To be eligible for the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) in Washington state, you must: (1) Qualify for regular unemployment benefits and (2) Be identified as likely to run out of benefits or be eligible for Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT).

The department uses the following process to identify claimants who are likely to exhaust for purposes of the self-employment assistance program:

(a) Assign profile scores to individuals with a claim ending during the most recent federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) using the model described in WAC 192-180-060.

(b) Find the number of these claimants who actually exhausted regular unemployment benefits and determine their percentage of the entire profiled population.

(c) The result will determine the percentile of profiled scores that will be identified as likely to exhaust. For example, assume during the most recent federal fiscal year, fifteen percent of profiled claimants actually exhaust benefits. This means the eighty-fifth percentile of profile scores will be used to identify claimants who are likely to exhaust.

(d) Determine the lowest score assigned to claimants within this group.

(e) Claimants with that score or higher who file new claims during the following calendar year will be notified by the department they are potentially eligible for the self-employment assistance program.