How Well Have Rural and Small Metropolitan Labor Markets Absorbed Welfare Recipients?. Contents of the Report


The report is organized as follows:

  • Chapter 2 discusses the unique nature of small and nonmetropolitan labor markets and some of the barriers to employment that exist in these areas.
  • Chapter 3 provides a description of the 12 regions selected for this study, including information on the characteristics of the population, the labor market conditions, the welfare policies, and the declines in the welfare caseloads.
  • Chapter 4 provides a detailed description of the methodology used for estimating low-skill employment and the impact of welfare reform and the economy on employment and wages.
  • Chapter 5 presents the findings from the analysis, projects the effect of a recession with and without welfare reform, and concludes with the implications for future research.



(7) From P. Loprest and S. Brauner (1999). Where Are They Now? What States Studies of People Who Left Welfare Tell Us. The Urban Institute. Washington, DC: A survey of state leaver studies found that employment rates ranged from 55 to 75 percent for continuous leavers who were surveyed at a point in time after leaving.

(8) 1998 Green Book. Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. Washington, DC.

(9) Council of Economic Advisors (1999). The Effects of Welfare Policy and the Economic Expansion on Welfare Caseloads: An Update. Washington, DC. This revises estimates from a 1997 CEA report that attributed about 30 percent of the caseload decline to welfare waivers.

(10)U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment is total non-farm payroll employment (seasonally adjusted); unemployment is the adjusted unemployment rate for the civilian labor force; and hourly rates are average hourly earnings of production workers (not seasonally adjusted).

(11) Council of Economic Advisors (1999).

(12) Blank, R (2000). Declining Caseloads/Increased Work: What Can We Conclude About the Effects of Welfare Reform? Paper prepared for the conference Welfare Reform Four Years Later: Progress and Prospects at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

(13) Meyer, B. and D. Rosenbaum (2000). Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and Its Effects. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 7491. Cambridge, MA.

(14) 1998 Green Book.

(15) Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

(16) Johnson, N. (2000). A Hand Up. How State Earned Income Tax Credits Help Working Families Escape Poverty in 2000: An Overview. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Washington, DC.

(17) Hotz, J. H., Mullin, C. H., and Scholz, J. K. (2000). The Earned Income Tax Credit and Labor Market Participation of Families on Welfare. Paper for the Joint Center for Poverty Research Conference on Means-Tested Transfers, December 7-8, 2000.

(18) Lerman, R. I., P. Loprest, and C. Ratcliffe (1999). How Well Can Urban Labor Markets Absorb Welfare Recipients? The Urban Institute New Federalism Number A-33. Washington DC.

(19) Leete, L. and N. Bania (1999). The Impact of Welfare Reform on Local Labor Markets. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (18) 1.

(20) Bartik, T. (1999). Will Welfare Reform Cause Displacement? W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Kalamazoo, MI.