Algorithmic long-term unemployment risk assessment in use: counselors’ perceptions and use and practices

Leid Zejnilovic, Susana Lavado, Inigo Martinez, Samantha Sim, Andrew Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


The recent surge of interest in algorithmic decision-making among scholars across disciplines is associated with its potential to resolve the challenges common to administrative decision-making in the public sector, such as greater fairness and equal treatment of each individual, among others. However, algorithmic decision-making combined with human judgment may introduce new complexities with unclear consequences. This article offers evidence that contributes to the ongoing discussion about algorithmic decision-making and governance, contextualizing it within a public employment service. In particular, we discuss the use of a decision support system that employs an algorithm to assess individual risk of becoming long-term unemployed and that informs counselors to assign interventions accordingly. We study the human interaction with algorithms in this context using the lenses of human detachment from and attachment to decision-making. Employing a mixed-method research approach, we show the complexity of enacting the potentials of the data-driven decision-making in the context of a public agency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12908
JournalGlobal Perspectives
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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