Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study examines changing levels of Unemployment Insurance (UI) eligibility and benefits receipt among low-educated, single mothers who entered unemployment between 1990 and 2005. It also examines changing participation in cash welfare and the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Data from 1990–94 and 2001–5 show that low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment experience an increase in UI eligibility but not an increase in UI benefits receipt, when compared to low-educated, single, childless women who enter unemployment. Because of declining cash assistance receipt during 2001–5, UI becomes a more common income support for this population than cash assistance. Further, the probability of accessing the FSP increases among low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment in 2001–5. As a result, the proportion of this population accessing benefits from at least one of these programs remains similar across the study period. (author abstract)
This article is based on a policy paper published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.