Assistance recipients spend bigger share on basics
June 29, 2000
Families receiving public assistance differ from other families in the way they spend. Expenditures on basic needs accounted for a bigger share of their spending in 1998.
Furthermore, such spending varies according to the number of public assistance programs a family participates in. Housing, for example, accounted for about 31 percent of the spending of families who were not receiving public assistance and about 38 percent of the spending of families receiving benefits from four or five programs.
The pattern was even stronger in food expenditures. The food budget share increases with every additional assistance program: 17 percent for families participating in one program, 20 percent if in two programs, 24 percent if three, and 26 percent among families receiving four or five types of assistance. Families that did not receive public assistance allocated a little less than 14 percent of their annual expenditures to food.
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey program. The public assistance programs included in the analysis were supplementary security income, welfare, medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies, and public housing. Find more information in "Spending patterns of public-assisted families," by Lucilla Tan, Monthly Labor Review, May 2000.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Assistance recipients spend bigger share on basics on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jun/wk4/art04.htm (visited May 30, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.