Building Better Programs

Improving Employment and Earnings for TANF Recipients

Many state welfare programs have incorporated financial incentives that have encouraged work and supplemented the incomes of employed TANF recipients, and have also experimented with ways to help workers—employed TANF recipients and those who leave the TANF rolls with employment—retain employment and advance in the labor market. This brief draws on a large body of evidence from rigorous studies of welfare-related initiatives to highlight several strategies found effective in increasing employment and earnings among welfare recipients. The strategies include: program components, including job search, education, subsidized work, and sectoral training; financial incentives; and efforts to facilitate work retention and increase earnings.

Urban Institute Brief – Improving Employment and Earnings for TANF Recipients