NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Single Mothers Went From Welfare to Work

March 4, 2002

Single mothers in unprecedented numbers have left welfare and found work over the past five years due to welfare reform legislation in 1996, according to a report by June O'Neill, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, and M. Anne Hill.

The report, based the authors' Manhattan Institute study, focuses on the effects of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program:

  • TANF accounts for more than half of the decline in welfare participation since 1996 and more than 60 percent of the rise in employment among single mothers.
  • By contrast, the contribution of a booming economy was relatively minor.
  • Employment gains, and a resulting decline in welfare participation, have been largest among disadvantaged single mothers.
  • Prior to passage of reform legislation, welfare caseloads had more than doubled since the 1960s.

This study will be released today as part of the NCPA's Women in the Economy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Source: June O'Neill and M. Anne Hill, "Gaining Ground: Women, Welfare Reform and Work," Women in the Economy Chapter, February 2002, NCPA.


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