Leavers, Stayers, and Cyclers An Analysis of the Welfare Caseload. Characteristics

11/01/2002

Table 10 presents the demographic characteristics and barriers to employment of stayers in the program and control groups. Although the two groups of stayers look similar, a few differences suggest that program group stayers are slightly more disadvantaged than control group stayers. Stayers in the program groups are somewhat less educated than those in the control groups (54.7 percent of program group stayers did not complete high school, compared with only 49.3 percent of control group stayers), and they are slightly more likely to report health or emotional problems as barriers to employment. At the same time, however, they had more work experience during the follow-up period; they worked an average of 9.8 months during the three years after random assignment, compared with 7.4 months for stayers in the control groups. This finding is consistent with other research. Zedlewski and Anderson (2001) found that people receiving welfare in 1999 were more likely to work than those receiving welfare in 1997.

Table 10
How Programs Have Affected Stayers:
Demographic Characteristics and Barriers to Employment
 
Characteristics Program Control
Difference between Program and Control
Demographics
Age (%) 
Younger than 25 21.5 22.8 -1.3 **
25-35 49.7 49.8 -0.1
Older than 35 28.8 27.4 1.4 **
Education (%)
Less than 12 years 54.7 49.3 5.4 **
High school graduate 45.3 50.7 -5.4 **
Number of children (%)
None or one 34.8 33.7 1.1
Two or more 65.2 66.3 -1.1
Age of youngest child (%)
Younger than 6 64.0 65.3 -1.3 *
15 or older 0.6 1.0 -0.4 **
Race / Ethnicity (%)
Black
44.5 44.6 -0.1
Hispanic 18.3 17.6 0.7
White 37.2 37.8 -0.6
Marital status (%)
Never married 52.7 53.4 -0.7
Other 47.3 46.6 0.7
Housing status (%)
Public or subsidized 25.8 23.3 2.5 **
Private or other 74.2 76.7 -2.5 **
Employment
Could not work at random assignment due to:
Child care problems 69.2 68.4 0.8
Transportation problems 45.3 42.5 2.8 **
Health or emotional problems 30.9 26.7 4.2 **
Did not work in year prior torandom assignment
61.2 63.2 -2.0 **
Number of Potential Barriers to Employment
0 or 1 7.4 6.4 1.0 *
2 or 3 29.7 34.7 -5.0 **
4 25.0 23.1 1.9 **
5 or more 37.9 35.7 2.2 **
Number of months worked during years 1 to 3
9.8 7.4 2.4 **
Sample size 12.271 7.307  
 
SOURCE:  MDRC calculations from administrative records, Baseline Information Forms and Private Opinion Surveys from the evaluations listed in Table 1.
NOTES:  The data are weighted to reflect the size of the welfare caseload in each state.

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