California’s poorest may finally be feeling rising economy

Applications for cash welfare reached their lowest point in at least six years in 2016, which economists say might indicate California’s poorest are finally feeling the effects of an improving economy. 

Last year, an average of about 250,000 Americans applied for assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is also known as welfare-to-work. About 13 percent of them were in California, where TANF is also known as CalWORKs.  

That rate was down from a spike of applications following the Great Recession. In 2010, the year after the recession ended, about 330,000 people per month applied for cash welfare in the U.S. 

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