Welfare Pays More than Minimum Wage Job in 35 States

August 20, 2013 - 2:10 PM
A new study from the Cato Institute, entitled "The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off: 2013" examines welfare benefits on a state-by-state basis.

Among it's findings the study reveals that an individual receiving welfare currently receives more in income than they would if they were working a minimum wage job, in 35 of the 50 states.

In fact, the study found that in 13 states, welfare pays more than $15 per hour.

The study also determined that "...in 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax first year wage for a teacher. In 39 states it pays more than the starting wage for a secretary. And, in the 3 most generous states a person on welfare can take home more money than an entry-level computer programmer."

The study lists Hawaii, The District of Columbia and Massachusetts as having the nations most generous welfare laws.

The study concludes that "...it is undeniable that for many recipients-especially long-term dependents-welfare pays more than the type of entry level job that a typical welfare recipient can expect to find. As long as this is true, many recipients are likely to choose welfare over work."

The Study was authored by Cato Institute Senior Fellow, Michael Tanner and research assistant, Charles Hughes.