ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



The Employment and Training Institute was asked to provide a detailed demographic analysis of Milwaukee County cases on public assistance and the working poor to assist policy makers in discussions of current welfare reform proposals (referred to as “W-2”). An estimated 30,448 out of 37,415 AFDC cases in Milwaukee County would be expected to work under the state's proposed welfare policy changes while 6,967 cases would be exempt because the casehead is on SSI or caring for another relative's children. Much of the AFDC population is currently employed or has recent labor market attachment. Based on historical and recent caseload data, it is estimated that one-third of the monthly AFDC caseload would remain employed or increase their earnings on their own and would not seek out “W-2” minimum wage subsidized employment. These are mainly families with older children and caseheads who are better educated and have demonstrated work skills. They are the population least likely to benefit from intervention. As much as one-third of the current caseload has no recent labor market experience and represents a high-risk, high-cost difficult-to-employ population. These caseheads are usually younger, less educated, and have more children. Child care is a serious impediment for these families with most cases having at least one child under two years of age. These cases are also likely to have difficulty complying with stringent welfare work program requirements.