Welfare reform's progress

June 16, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Chicago Tribune, which was published Monday.

THE General Accounting Office study of welfare programs in 17 states has found that the number of adults who have found work after leaving public aid is much larger than previously reported.

Between 63 percent and 87 percent, depending on the state, had a job at some point after leaving welfare, the study found.

That's good news, no doubt the result of the happy convergence of the new approach to welfare and the powerful, long-running economic boom in which joblessness, like welfare rolls, has fallen to its lowest level since the mid-1960s.

Yet, the GAO found some particularly encouraging news among former recipients in Wisconsin and South Carolina. Although they were more likely to be having trouble making ends meet after leaving welfare, a large majority told survey takers that their lives were "better" than when they were on welfare.

That may be the best news of all.

Pub Date: 6/16/99

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