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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    This set of selections focuses on rapid attachment to employment. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

    This set of selections focuses on rapid attachment to employment. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

  • Individual Author: Nichols, Austin; Martin, Steven; Marie Astone, Nan; Peters, H. Elizabeth; Pendall, Rolf; Franks Hildner, Kaitlin; Stolte, Allison
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    From 2010 to 2030, patterns of labor force participation will change across regions of the United States. In some regions, the primary demographic effect will be changes in age structure, which will drive declines in labor force participation rates. In other regions, in-migration and changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the adult population will primarily increase the numbers of the “dependent population”—people not in the labor force. Still other regions will have to accommodate both sharply declining participation rates and sharply increasing nonparticipants. These diverse patterns of changes in labor force participation pose different challenges to regions. (author abstract) 

    From 2010 to 2030, patterns of labor force participation will change across regions of the United States. In some regions, the primary demographic effect will be changes in age structure, which will drive declines in labor force participation rates. In other regions, in-migration and changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the adult population will primarily increase the numbers of the “dependent population”—people not in the labor force. Still other regions will have to accommodate both sharply declining participation rates and sharply increasing nonparticipants. These diverse patterns of changes in labor force participation pose different challenges to regions. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Aaronson, Stephanie; Cajner, Tomaz; Fallick, Bruce; Galbis-Reig, Felix; Smith, Christopher L.; Wascher, William
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Since 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from about 66 percent to about 63 percent. The sources of this decline have been widely debated among academics and policymakers, with some arguing that the participation rate is depressed due to weak labor demand while others argue that the decline was inevitable due to structural forces such as the aging of the population. In this paper, we use a variety of approaches to assess reasons for the decline in participation. Although these approaches yield somewhat different estimates of the extent to which the recent decline in participation reflects cyclical weakness rather than structural factors, our overall assessment is that much - but not all - of the decline in the labor force participation rate since 2007 is structural in nature. As a result, while we see some of the current low level of the participation rate as indicative of labor market slack, we do not expect the participation rate to show a substantial increase from current levels as labor market conditions continue to improve. (author abstract)

    Since 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from about 66 percent to about 63 percent. The sources of this decline have been widely debated among academics and policymakers, with some arguing that the participation rate is depressed due to weak labor demand while others argue that the decline was inevitable due to structural forces such as the aging of the population. In this paper, we use a variety of approaches to assess reasons for the decline in participation. Although these approaches yield somewhat different estimates of the extent to which the recent decline in participation reflects cyclical weakness rather than structural factors, our overall assessment is that much - but not all - of the decline in the labor force participation rate since 2007 is structural in nature. As a result, while we see some of the current low level of the participation rate as indicative of labor market slack, we do not expect the participation rate to show a substantial increase from current levels as labor market conditions continue to improve. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Courtney, Mark; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    A major goal of the federal welfare reform legislation that was enacted in 1996 was to end welfare dependence by moving cash assistance recipients and potential recipients into the paid labor force. In theory, state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs would provide low-income parents with the services they needed to become and remain employed, which would then lead to increased self-sufficiency.

    Nearly 10 years later, with state cash assistance caseloads at historic lows, it seems reasonable to ask about the extent to which this has occurred. What has happened to the families that came to their state TANF programs looking for assistance? How many are employed? Are they finding stable jobs? How much are they earning? Is it enough for their families to escape poverty? And are they moving towards greater economic self sufficiency?

    Answering these questions is critical not only for understanding the well-being of families in the wake of welfare reform, but also for measuring of the success of state and federal welfare reforms. It is also...

    A major goal of the federal welfare reform legislation that was enacted in 1996 was to end welfare dependence by moving cash assistance recipients and potential recipients into the paid labor force. In theory, state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs would provide low-income parents with the services they needed to become and remain employed, which would then lead to increased self-sufficiency.

    Nearly 10 years later, with state cash assistance caseloads at historic lows, it seems reasonable to ask about the extent to which this has occurred. What has happened to the families that came to their state TANF programs looking for assistance? How many are employed? Are they finding stable jobs? How much are they earning? Is it enough for their families to escape poverty? And are they moving towards greater economic self sufficiency?

    Answering these questions is critical not only for understanding the well-being of families in the wake of welfare reform, but also for measuring of the success of state and federal welfare reforms. It is also particularly timely, given recent federal legislation that will require a much higher percentage of each state’s TANF recipients to be engaged in work activities This paper draws upon findings from the Milwaukee TANF Applicant Study (see box for a description of the study) to provide some answers.

    This paper examines the labor market outcomes of study participants in the years 1997 through 2003. It focuses on the percentage of study participants who were employed in each of those years as well as the earnings of those who were employed. All of the findings are based on data from Wisconsin’s wage reporting system, which tracks quarterly earnings from employment covered under the state’s unemployment insurance laws. Despite the emphasis that both state and federal welfare policies place on increasing labor force participation, we find that many of the TANF applicants in our sample experienced one or more quarters in which they were not employed, and the percentage who were employed in any year actually declined over time. Moreover, although the median earnings of those who were employed more than doubled between 1997 and 2003, most of those who worked did not earn enough to escape poverty. The paper concludes with policy recommendations based on these results. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kim, Jeounghee
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This study examined the effects of U.S. Welfare-to-Work programs on the employment outcomes of Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) recipients. Using the Survey of Program Dynamics and the Welfare Rules Database, the present study followed unemployed TANF recipients who participated in Human Capital Development (HCD) and Labor Force Attachment (LFA) programs from 1997 through 2001. The analyses examined how program participation affected recipients’ employment while holding the effects of the state economy and various TANF rules constant. The results showed that, unlike the assumption of the work-first strategy in the welfare reform, participation in HCD programs was associated with a higher probability of obtaining and maintaining employment than participation in LFA programs. (author abstract)

    This study examined the effects of U.S. Welfare-to-Work programs on the employment outcomes of Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) recipients. Using the Survey of Program Dynamics and the Welfare Rules Database, the present study followed unemployed TANF recipients who participated in Human Capital Development (HCD) and Labor Force Attachment (LFA) programs from 1997 through 2001. The analyses examined how program participation affected recipients’ employment while holding the effects of the state economy and various TANF rules constant. The results showed that, unlike the assumption of the work-first strategy in the welfare reform, participation in HCD programs was associated with a higher probability of obtaining and maintaining employment than participation in LFA programs. (author abstract)

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