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Will Employers Hire Welfare Recipients? Recent Survey Evidence from Michigan


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  • H. J. Holzer


In this paper we present data from a new survey of 900 employers in Michigan that was designed to gauge employer demand for welfare recipients. The results show that, given the current tightness of labor markets in Michigan, prospective demand for recipients is fairly high. On the other hand, prospective employment is quite highly correlated with measures of unmet labor demand at the establishment level, implying that much of this employment could disappear during the next recession. Many of the prospective jobs are also found in establishments to which inner-city minorities might have limited access, such as small/suburban establishments that receive few black applicants or that recruit informally. Absenteeism and basic skill readiness are potential problems for welfare recipients seeking employment, based on jobs filled by recipients to date or those that are prospectively available. The effects of a variety of potential policy responses targeted at private employers (such as job placement efforts, tax credits for employment or training, etc.) are also considered.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1177-98.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1177-98

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Cited by:
  1. Sandra K. Danziger & Mary Corcoran & Sheldon Danziger & Colleen M. Heflin & Ariel Kalil & Judith Levine & Daniel Rosen & Kristin S. Seefeldt & Kristine Siefert & Richard M. Tolman, 1999. "Barriers to the Employment of Welfare Recipients," JCPR Working Papers 90, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Greg Owen & Ellen Shelton & Amy Bush Stevens & Justine Nelson-Christinedaughter & Corinna Roy & June Heineman, 2000. "Whose Job Is It? Employers' Views on Welfare Reform," JCPR Working Papers 184, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Harry J. Holzer & Michael A. Stoll, 2003. "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients by Race," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 210-241, January.
  4. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer Demand for Welfare Recipients and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Recent Employer Surveys," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1185-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. H. J. Holzer & R. J. LaLonde, . "Job Change and Job Stability among Less-Skilled Young Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1191-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  6. S. Danziger & M. Corcoran & S. Danziger & C. Heflin & A. Kalil & J. Levine & D. Rosen & K. Seefeldt & K. Siefert & R. Tolman, . "Barriers to the Employment of Welfare Recipients," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1193-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.


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