The poorest state in the Union will keep encouraging its able-bodied citizens to find a job and get to work.
OneNewsNow reported in a November story on the Mississippi study by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), which found that Mississippians worked their way to good-paying jobs after the state implemented work requirements under the outgoing Republican governor, Phil Bryant.
The state’s executive office will be occupied next month by Governor-elect Tate Reeves, who is expected to follow through on the get-tough welfare requirements introduced by Bryant.
“Government dependency is not inevitable for Mississippi,” observes Jameson Taylor of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. "I believe incoming Gov.Tate Reeves is going to be fully committed to continuing to reform our welfare system, and by reform, what we mean is getting people back to work.”
Taylor points to real-life welfare-to-work stories from the FGA report, which found one Mississippian who was earning $72,000 annually in a manufacturing job after moving off welfare just 18 months earlier.
"Then there is the story of Jessica, who got a job with a tire manufacturer in northeast Mississippi and after only 12 months, she was earning $59,000 a year," Taylor continues. "All these people were on food stamps, and thanks to Governor Phil Bryant's actions they have now turned their lives around and are making a good living."
Some critics of work requirements for food stamps claim they discourage people from signing up for assistance and others say many food stamp beneficiaries are working but still need help.
FGA spokesperson Kristina Rasmussen tell OneNewsNow the “red hot” economy is benefitting job seekers right now to the point that employers are hiring unskilled workers who are ready to be trained for the position.
Among the FGA findings:
*Approximately three-quarters of workers moved out of low-paying jobs such as retail, using those entry-level jobs as a stepping stone.
*Wages grew an average of 64 percent three months after finding employment and nearly doubled a year after finding employment
*Mississippi’s expenditure on food stamps dropped from $10.7 million monthly to $3 million a month