This study examines the influence of state welfare policies on employment outcomes of women leaving welfare during the initial period of welfare reform implementation. The study finds that the stringency of work requirements is likely to increase employment among later welfare leavers, but neither the leniency nor stringency of work requirements is related to employment among early welfare leavers. The study finds that lenient work requirements are found to increase the probability that welfare leavers’ first jobs off welfare carry employer-provided health insurance.
The data used for this study span from 1996 to 2000, a period of sustained economic growth when employment rates were generally high and before welfare recipients in many states reached the time limits. Thus, it will be important to continue to monitor the trends in employment and job quality among welfare leavers as welfare caseloads are increasingly comprised of hard-to-employ recipients and welfare reform policy matures in varying economic conditions.
Assistant Professor Younghee Lim, Ph.D., GSW at the School of Social Work Louisiana State University was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, within the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences a graduate school of social work, at Case Western Reserve University from 2002-2003.
This research was supported by a grant to Case Western Reserve University from the Joint Center for Poverty Research, University of Chicago and Northwestern University.