Welfare Caseloads Rise in Many States
December 21, 2001
Amid the U.S. economic downturn, two-thirds of the states have reported increases in welfare caseloads recently. But there has been a slight decline in cases nationwide, according to a new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy.
- After years of steep declines in the rolls, 33 states have reported increases between March -- when the economy officially went into recession -- and September.
- Thirteen states experienced increases in welfare caseloads in the same period in 2000.
- The states with the largest increases between Sept. 2000 and Sept. 2001 were Nevada, Indiana and West Virginia -- while several large states, including California, posted decreases.
- But the total number of families receiving welfare subsidies across the country declined by 1 percent between March and Sept. 2001.
Welfare reform has been acclaimed a great success since it was enacted in 1996. Welfare rolls plunged from a 1994 peak of 14.3 million people to 5.4 million in March 2001.
Source: Kathy Chen, "After Years of Declines, Welfare Rolls Rise in 33 States Amid Persistent Recession," Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2001.
For text (WSJ subscribers)
Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues