ERIC Number: ED466674
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Reforming Welfare: What Does It Mean for Rural Areas? Issues in Food Assistance.
Whitener, Leslie A.; Duncan, Greg J.; Weber, Bruce A.
In May 2000, a conference on the rural dimensions of welfare reform and food assistance policy brought together researchers, welfare policy experts, and rural scholars. This issue brief summarizes some major findings of the conference and suggests future policy options to better address the differing needs of rural and urban families. Between 1994 and 1999, welfare caseloads fell by 47 percent nationwide. Caseload drops were similar in rural and urban areas overall, but some states had very different outcomes in rural and urban areas. At the same time, food stamp participation dropped by 33 percent. While both the size of the eligible population and participation rates dropped in urban areas, only the eligible population declined in rural areas. Studies report similar increases in employment for single mothers in rural and urban areas, but suggest that rural single mothers with little education have not shared in the employment gains of similar urban single mothers. Some state analyses find more variable effects, with average employment increases in rural counties much smaller and less sustained than those of urban counties. The welfare-to-work transition is also more difficult in rural areas, which often lack access to transportation, job training, health care, and affordable child care. Welfare reform increased earnings of recipients to a lesser degree in rural areas than urban areas, and over one-third of rural working mothers were in poverty in 1999. Policy suggestions focus on access to health insurance and child care, tax supplements to support the work efforts of low-income families, improved job training, and increased flexibility for time limits and work requirements. (SV)
Descriptors: Employment Patterns, Poverty, Public Policy, Rural Areas, Rural Urban Differences, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform
For full text: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr26-4/fanrr26-4.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families