(KMOV) – In a study released earlier this week, the Cato Institute reported Missourians with the highest level of welfare benefits can collect the equivalent of $10.96 an hour by not working.
According to the Cato Institute’s study, Missouri ranked 31st in welfare benefits. Hawaii ranked as the highest, with an equivalent of $29.13 an hour. The District of Columbia came in at second with $24.43 an hour.
In Missouri, the current minimum wage is $7.53 an hour.
“Welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 33 states—in many cases, significantly more,” the study states. “In fact, in a dozen states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than $15 an hour.”
The Cato institute reported that in 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax first-year wage for a teacher.
In Illinois, welfare pays the equivalent of $6.53 an hour according to the Cato Institute.
The study, which is an update from a 1995 study by Cato, concludes, “The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work.”
You can find the Cato Institute’s 40-page study in its entirety here.