Substance Use Participant Employment Outcomes

All county departments of human services (Wis. Stat. § 46.23) and community programs (Wis. Stat. § 51.42) are required to report data to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services describing individuals with mental health and substance use service needs and the services they provide them. Data collection is required describing all service participants whose care is the legal responsibility of county service agencies, regardless of the funding source for their services or whether services are provided by county agencies directly or through a contracted private service agency. Individuals who are not served under the county agency are not included in this data brief.

While not all service participants need employment support, a frequent goal of service plans is to help participants seek and obtain a job to assist in their ability to support themselves through employment during and after services. Employment also provides skills and meaningful activities for participants.

Participants were included when discharged from services in 2016 and had a valid employment status collected. Employment status is only collected while the participant is receiving services. Changes in employment status after discharge are unknown. The participant’s employment status at the time of enrollment is compared to their last known employment status before discharge.

Employment status is defined as follows:

  • Employed: Individuals who have either a part-time or full-time job.
  • Unemployed: Individuals who do not have a job, but have actively looked for work in the past 30 days and are currently available for work.
  • Not in the Labor Force: Individuals who are unwilling or unable to engage in competitive employment (for example, disabled, retired, student). This category also includes individuals who may be willing and able to work, but have not been looking for work in the past 30 days.


Pie chart depicting employment status of discharged substance us participants 2016


  Count Percent
Employed 3,870 59.4
Unemployed 1,043 16.0
Not in Labor Force 1,603 24.6
TOTAL 6,516


Data Source: Program Participation System


Graph depicting change in employment status of discharged substance use participants 2016


  Discharge Employment Status Total
  Employed Unemployed Not in Labor Force  
Employed 3,570 97 284 3,951
Unemployed 347 592 154 1,093
Not in Labor Force 263 99 1,258 1,620
Total 4,180 788 1,696 6,664

Data Source: Program Participation System

Related Resources

Last Revised: March 13, 2019