When Work Doesn't Pay: What Every Policymaker Should Know

Cauthen, Nancy K.

This brief seeks to inform policymakers and others about the difficulties faced by low-income working parents as they strive to make progress in the workforce. Using data from NCCP's Family Resource Simulator, it highlights ways in which the current structure of work support policies often leads to unintended consequences. As low-wage workers increase their earnings above the federal poverty level, their families begin to lose eligibility for government work supports. Given that some of these benefits drop off quickly, earning more does not always improve a family's financial bottom line.


More About This Work

Academic Units
National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University
Making Work Supports Work Publications
Published Here
July 6, 2010