This industry provided many welfare-to-work jobs, and it has been decimated in the wake of the attacks. In fact, the recent round of layoffs will be the first to hit these types of workers since the 1996 overhaul of the federal welfare system. Although federal aid to states for human services was not decreased as a result of welfare reform, many states have taken advantage of the prosperity and used the money to offer tax cuts and new programs to aid the working poor. Under new regulations, many workers are no longer eligible to return to the welfare rolls. To compound the problem, many also will not qualify for unemployment insurance.
See JASON DePARLE, The New York Times, October 7, 2001