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John J. Hisnanick and Katherine G. Walker


A primary goal of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA)was reducing welfare dependency through job preparation and employment. Rather than having entitlement benefits, welfare recipients now face time limits and must, along with their caseworker, develop a program that will assist them in preparing for employment and finding a job. Prior work with the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) first longitudinal file found that for approximately 1.1 million people who moved from welfare to work between 1993 and 1997, over one-third were employed in low-wage, service sector jobs. Using the SPD second longitudinal file (SLF), supplemented with data for occupational measures from the dictionary of occupational titles (DOT), a better picture emerges on the types of jobs that former welfare recipients get.

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