Employment and Poverty
CPR Deputy Director Ann Stevens writes for Econofact on the role of work in anti-poverty programs

Graph of working poor statistics

For the past two decades, U.S. anti-poverty policy has coalesced around the idea that work should be at the center of anti-poverty programs. Bi-partisan welfare reform in the 1990s focused on work requirements and time limits. The growth and popularity of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which increases the after tax income for those working near the bottom of the wage distribution, has also emphasized the importance of work. Recently, proposals to require work for those receiving a variety of benefits, including Medicaid, SNAP, and public housing, continue this employment focus.