Subgroup Impacts and Performance Indicators for Selected Welfare Employment Programs

| Daniel Friedlander

This report presents an analysis of the effectiveness of five mandatory welfare employment programs in working with different segments of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) caseload. These programs — in San Diego; Baltimore; several counties in Virginia; Little Rock and one other county in Arkansas; and Cook County, Illinois — all sought to increase earnings and decrease dependence on welfare. They provided different services but all relied primarily on a combination of job search and work experience. Among the five evaluations, four programs were found to have positive employment and earnings impacts. And four of the five indicated that the initial investment of program funds would result in net government budget savings in five years or less. The findings also suggest that welfare employment programs may indeed have greater impacts for some groups within the diverse welfare population than for others. For example, employment increases were larger for clients without a recent work history than for those who worked during the year prior to program enrollment.