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Study: Majority Receiving Public Assistance Are Working Poor

Nelson Mejia, who began as a full time employee two weeks ago, works at the food court in a Target on August 5, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Nelson Mejia, who began as a full time employee two weeks ago, works at the food court in a Target on August 5, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A study out today finds nearly three-quarters of people who receive public assistance benefits from the government belong to a working family.

The report from University of California, Berkeley, says low-wage jobs have left federal and state governments holding the tab for higher medicaid, food stamp and child subsidy payouts. Researchers say the cost to taxpayers is now $153 billion a year.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks to Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, about the recent study and what it means for federal aid and low-wage workers.

Guest

  • Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

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