When a new welfare report was released last week, one statistic quickly became big news: 8 percent of welfare clients referred to the city’s elaborate $130 million Employment Services Program (ESP), actually get a private-sector, unsubsidized job. But there’s a silent shocker, too: the report found that only 35 percent of ESP clients who got jobs kept them for six months. The Human Resources Administration seems to be having more luck with other programs: It publicly touts an overall job retention rate of 76 percent. While the city declined to comment on the discrepancy, advocates suggest that the city’s transitional and supported work programs offer more help to clients—increasing their odds of hitting the six-month mark. Agency reports note that public figures reflect all placements, including those into subsidized jobs and work programs like the Parks Opportunity Program, which pays clients to work in city parks. “They are not independent, unsubsidized jobs,” said Sondra Youdelman, one of the report’s authors, and policy director at Community Voices Heard. “If the city counts placement in the [POP] program as a job placement, and then subsequent extensions of those placements, you can see where the numbers go high really quickly.” (T. McMillan)[07/18/05]