Welfare benefits exceed minimum wage in Missouri, study says - KMOV.com

Welfare benefits exceed minimum wage in Missouri, study says

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By Sarah Heath By Sarah Heath

(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.


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