Welfare reforms moved thousands off public assistance and into jobs over the last ten years. These programs have been touted as a success but a cooling economy and growing layoffs could strain the new system. Workers can collect benefits for five years and many people are nearing their limit with few prospects and little training. Experts fear a recession could move those with jobs back to welfare, straining an already tight budget.
See Jonathan Peterson, The Seattle Times, May 29, 2001