NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Studies Vindicate Welfare Reform

May 13, 1999

A variety of reports confirm that welfare reform has been a success. While not every benefit recipient is out of the woods yet, research confirms the overall trend from welfare dependency to work and self- reliance.

  • Employment Solutions Inc., a non-profit subsidiary of Goodwill Industries, has just reported that three-quarters of 6,405 Milwaukee welfare recipients earned a paycheck during the first year of the state's reform program -- with earnings about 45 percent greater than they received in welfare subsidies.
  • In January, Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development reported that 62 percent of former welfare recipients were employed five months after they left the rolls -- earning an average of $7.42 an hour.
  • In a review of 21 state studies of former welfare beneficiaries, the Associated Press found that most people were in jobs that paid them more than they got on welfare, even though many were still struggling to make ends meet.
  • The Heritage Foundation has released a study claiming that tough welfare work rules -- rather than low unemployment rates -- were the major reason people were leaving welfare for work.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Reform Works, Study Claims," Washington Times, May 13, 1999.


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