Comparing Recent Declines in Oregon's Cash Assistance Caseload with Trends in the Poverty Population

August 1, 1998 Download PDF

Across the nation, the number of people receiving cash assistance has declined sharply since the mid-1990s. In Oregon, the number of people on welfare fell 59 percent between January 1993 and March 1998. The March 1998 caseload (48,633) is lower than the caseload in 1969. Oregon’s decline, in percentage terms, is among the highest in the nation. Some economists point to a strong job market as a primary factor underlying the decreases. However, in states like Oregon and Wisconsin, the studies have also measured a significant policy effect attributable to a variety of programmatic changes.