Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - mass transit


Welfare recipients, Travel time, Transportation industry, Transportation, Transport, Transit, Sociodemographics, Social factors, Residential location, Public transit, Place of residence, Mass transit, Local transit, Journey time, Job security, Job retention, Job opportunities, Employment, Automobile ownership, Accessibility


Women who have been on public assistance need to obtain and maintain steady employment because they stand to lose their public benefits and also because it is the only way out of poverty. Although the sociodemographic and general economic influences on job retention have been examined in the literature, the effects of transportation and of place of residence in a metropolitan area vis-a-vis entry-level job locations have not been studied systematically. Four sets of factors--transportation, location, sociodemographic, and family effects--are examined for their effect on job retention. In particular, it was found that employment security for female welfare clients or former clients does not come from job retention (i.e., tenure with the same employer) but from "employment retention" (i.e., jobs with different employers, possibly with a trend toward upward mobility). The effects of transportation and location on job and employment retention are complex. Although access to a vehicle is important for increasing employment retention, even more important is the number of job opportunities accessible by private vehicle or public transit within a tolerable travel time. Female welfare clients who retain a job longer and hold more jobs within a 2-year period are more likely to live in subareas of the metropolitan area with greater access to jobs within reasonable travel times; the competition for those jobs from other low-income individuals is low. Furthermore, female welfare clients with a high school diploma, when given the appropriate accessibility and location opportunities, enjoy increased job retention.