Workers in low-paying industries are overrepresented among public assistance recipients: Distribution of workers receiving public assistance directly or through a family member, by major industry

Occupation Share of working benefit recipients   Share of overall employment 
Educational, health, and social services 19.9% 23.6%
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services 15.8% 10.1%
Retail trade 14.7% 11.8%
Manufacturing 9.6% 10.6%
Professional, scientific, mgmt., admin., and waste mgmt. services 9.6% 10.3%
Construction 6.9% 5.5%
Other services (except public administration) 5.7% 4.4%
Transportation and utilities 4.7% 5.1%
Financial, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing 4.0% 6.5%
Public administration 2.7% 5.1%
Wholesale trade 2.0% 2.5%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 1.9% 1.1%
Information 1.3% 2.1%
Armed forces and active duty military 0.6% 0.6%

Note: Includes the EITC, CTC, SNAP, LIHEAP, WIC, housing assistance, TANF/cash assistance, and Medicaid.

Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement microdata, pooled years 2012–2014

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