Getting Jobs, Keeping Jobs, and Earning a Living Wage: Can Welfare Reform Work?
M. E. Corcoran
S. K. Danziger
K. S. Seefeldt
Most discussions of welfare and work have focused on how demographic characteristics, schooling, training, and work experience limit welfare mothers’ employment and wages, but they have largely ignored factors such as inappropriate workplace behaviors, expectations of discrimination and harassment, depression, alcoholism, and domestic violence, all of which may affect welfare mothers and make employment difficult. In this paper we review the prevalence of these individual-level barriers and argue that they, in combination with an economy which does not pay low-skill workers well, are likely to impede employment and self-sufficiency for a large proportion of welfare mothers. At the end of the review, we summarize the current state of knowledge about barriers to the employment of welfare recipients and suggest several ways in which welfare-to-work programs might address these barriers.
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