Many income and work support programs include a component aimed to increase the employment and earnings of participants. For example, in the most recent year, states reported spending $557 million of TANF and related state spending on employment and training programs.
CLASP advocates for high-quality employment programs for recipients of work support programs, informed by understanding of both the labor market and the circumstances of recipients, and provides technical assistance to states and localities on how to operate such programs within the framework of the federal programs. CLASP opposes work requirements with harsh sanctions that act as a barrier to access to benefits.
Recently renewed efforts to impose work requirements to receive public benefits reflect a profound misunderstanding of the realities of low-wage jobs. Strong evidence shows that work requirements frequently lead to a loss of benefits, which only makes it harder to work. Further, there is little evidence that work requirements increase employment outcomes or reduce poverty. Finally, work requirements create an unnecessary burden for workers and state governments.
When combined with low wages and low income, workers with volatile schedules find themselves in need of income support from public benefits programs. However, the scheduling issues driving their need for public benefits often create barriers to access.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) initiative provides federal funding to states, in the form of grants, to help SNAP participants obtain jobs that will reduce their need for SNAP assistance. However, as this brief explains, major investments in SNAP are…