- Of the respondents who had worked for pay in the month before the survey, more than a third had earnings less than $5,000 per year.
Of the respondents who had earnings in the month before the survey, many had very low earnings. For example, more than a third had earnings of less than $400 during the month (Appendix D Table IIIh). The median monthly earnings for all employed respondents were only $500.
- Respondents educated beyond high school earned 33% more than others.
Respondents educated beyond high school had higher average monthly earnings ($699) than other respondents (~$520). About a quarter of the respondents educated beyond high school earned $1,000 or more in the month before the survey, compared to 6% of high school dropouts and 10% of persons who had graduated from high school without going to college (data not shown).
- One in five respondents reported that another adult in the household was employed in the month before the survey.
The presence of other employed adults in the household can improve a TANF recipient’s ability to meet family needs once they leave welfare. Overall, about one in five (21%) of the respondents said that there was another adult in the household who was employed in the month before the survey (data not shown). Almost half (45 %) of the respondents who were married or living with a partner had another adult in the household who was employed in the month before the survey. In contrast, less than one in seven of divorced or separated respondents had another adult in the household who was employed in the month before the survey.
Percent of Households
|Money from jobs||49||$909|
|Money from friends/family||13||$116|
Source: Telephone surveys of 1,120 TANF recipients in South Carolina
- Relatively few respondents reported that their household had received income other than through earnings, food stamps, or cash welfare.
One of the key issues for policymakers is whether TANF recipients can rely on other sources of income besides earnings if they leave cash assistance. Generally we found that relatively few of the respondents could expect to rely upon unearned income. About one-fifth of the respondents reported that someone in their household had received child support in the month before the survey; the average amount received was $1896 (Table III-1). Few recipients received support from other sources, such as SSI or other disability payments, unemployment insurance benefits, or financial help from friends or family in the month before the survey.