Did Metropolitan Areas Absorb Welfare without Displacing Other Workers?

Brief

Did Metropolitan Areas Absorb Welfare without Displacing Other Workers?

Abstract

Despite the significant flow of single mothers into the job market as a result of welfare reform between 1996 and 1998, this report of 20 metropolitan areas indicates that labor markets were able to absorb these new workers without a negative impact on competing workers. Double-digit rates of job growth for single mothers took place in 17 of the 20 metropolitan areas. Wages increased and overall employment rates improved for single mothers and other less-educated adults. Even in metropolitan areas with high unemployment and high welfare caseloads, such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia, enough jobs materialized to expand employment and reduce unemployment for single mothers with little or no harm imposed on the job opportunities of competing workers.

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