NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Emphasize Work, Not Education, As Welfare Solution

August 3, 2000

Two new studies by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corp. emphasize the importance of work over training when trying to move welfare recipients off the rolls. Participants in projects which stress work increased their income beyond levels achieved in control groups.

  • One study of 20 programs found that participants earned an average of $500 a year more than peers who were not in the programs.
  • A second study of a Los Angeles program found higher employment rates and an average of $1,627 more in earnings among participants compared with non-participants.
  • Programs which stress work were more efficient with disadvantaged populations than programs that stress remedial education.
  • One study also showed that adults could find jobs despite obstacles, including problems with child care, transportation and health.

The one exception was depression. Adults who suffered from depression did not significantly increase their earnings.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Welfare-to-Work Gains Strong, Studies Find," Washington Times, August 3, 2000.


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