Welfare mothers are more likely to stay on the job longer if they are hired in the healthcare and education industries, a study by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research found.
Using 13 years of census data, the study found 61% of welfare mothers hired by hospitals were still employed by March of the year after they were hired. Hospitals had the highest retention of any industry. The average for all industries was 48%.
The study found former welfare recipients tended to have shorter duration in jobs requiring frequent customer contact and greater supervisory pressure. For example, cashiers had the shortest job stays. Although correlation does not imply causation, the study's author suggests customer and supervisor demands play a big role in job retention.
"Healthcare aides may not have the constant pressure from customers demanding service that cashiers do," said Timothy Bartik, author of the study and senior economist for W.E. Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo, Mich. "Supervisors (in hospitals) can afford to give time for people to adjust to the demands of the job."
Bartik recommended that welfare-to-work programs attempt to network with companies in the healthcare and education industries to create placement opportunities for their trainees.
The study also found higher wages have only a modest effect in job retention and firm size has no effect.