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Time To Work: Job Search Strategies and Commute Time for Women on Welfare in San Francisco

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The major policy approaches to welfare-to-work attempt to facilitate the transition into the workforce by providing job search assistance and transportation subsidies. Although these policies help some women on welfare, they fail to respond to the needs of most, who rely disproportionately on social contacts to find jobs, seek to minimize commutes, and lack the educational attainment that would help them penetrate the regional labor market. This article uses in-depth interviews with 92 women on welfare in San Francisco, as well as a binomial logit model, to examine the relationship between job search strategies and employment characteristics. The findings suggest that low-income women with children are more likely to rely on contacts than women without children, because they seek to work close to home. For most women, building connections to employers, improving human capital, and increasing the density of neighborhood economic and social activity will make jobs more accessible.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of Minnesota

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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