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Barriers to Employment

The Impact of Employment Barriers on Successful Outcomes

Barriers to finding and retaining employment are well documented. A recent article using data from Minnesota discusses the ways in which child care, transportation, education, and work hours can complicate the task of finding and keeping a job.1 Research has also identified housing, poor mental or physical health, substance abuse, and a criminal history as impediments to obtaining employment.2

When we asked employment counselors and program managers from around the state about the employment barriers that they commonly see in their work with clients:

Strategies to Address Employment Barriers

Many of the studies that identify employment barriers also provide related policy recommendations, oftentimes at the federal and state level and sometimes at the provider level. National and local organizations producing this work include the Urban Institute, the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, and the Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.

When we asked employment counselors and program managers from around the state about the strategies they use to address the barriers they commonly see:

Share Your Experience in Addressing Employment Barriers

Is there a strategy you've found that is particularly effective in addressing a barrier to employment? Use the comment box below to share your experiences with us. Your comments will not display on this webpage, but will go directly to the Performance Management team at DEED. Comments are anonymous, but if you include your name and email address, we will be able to follow up with you.


1 DeMartelaere, Kaite, "Barriers to Getting Ahead," Minnesota Economic Trends, March 2015.

2Among others, see:

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