Beginning in the 1990s, the “Make Work Pay” experiments tested whether offering earnings supplements would increase employment and income and improve family well-being among welfare recipients. The experiments responded to a fundamental challenge: Low-wage jobs often leave families only barely better off financially than even subsistence-level welfare benefits.
Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project
Many recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals find or keep jobs for a while, but far fewer remain steadily employed and advance in the labor market. This report describes results and draws lessons from rigorous evaluations of 12 programs seeking to improve employment retention and advancement among low-wage workers.
This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.
Final Results from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration
Transitional jobs programs in four Midwestern cities substantially increased short-term employment by providing jobs to many ex-prisoners who would not otherwise have worked. However, the gains faded as men left the transitional jobs, and the programs did not increase unsubsidized employment nor did they reduce recidivism.
One-Year Findings from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration
The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration is testing a program that provides temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help to former prisoners in four midwestern cities. This report describes how the demonstration was implemented and assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the first year after people entered the project.
The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children
Drawing on ethnographic interviews, this policy brief describes the patchwork child care arrangements made by low-income parents and discusses implications for policies that would promote the dual objectives of child well-being and parental employment.