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Abstract

A great deal of thought and energy currently is being focused on moving welfare recipients off welfare and into the job market. This article reports the results of a study of the work versus welfare choice of women who are limited to the minimum wage job market. Due to the level of the minimum wage, these women face poverty even when working full time. Working often brings them little financial benefit compared to being on welfare, and does not include important benefits such as health coverage for their children. one might ask, then, why women facing this choice would be motivated to try to enter the labor market at all. This study was designed to understand, from the women's point of view, what keeps them in the labor market under these conditions, and to shed light on their perceptions of the work versus welfare choice.

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