Meeting the Demand: Hiring Patterns of Welfare Recipients in Four Metropolitan Areas

Michael A. Stoll and Harry Holzer

What are the spatial relationships between low-skill jobs and workers leaving welfare? What policies might help connect those workers and jobs? This paper analyzes data from four metropolitan areas and finds that welfare recipients often live far from low-skill job opportunities. While suburban employers are more eager than central city businesses to fill jobs with welfare recipients, actual hiring of welfare recipients is much higher in the cities and near public transit. Moreover, black welfare recipients are less likely to be employed in the suburbs than are white recipients. The paper concludes with policy recommendations to address these spatial (and racial) gaps in employment.