Welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, creating little incentive for Americans to take entry-level work and likely increasing their long-term dependency on government help, according to a new study by the libertarian think tank Cato Institute.

The finds come 17 years after the Clinton administration, with bipartisan support from Congress, passed landmark welfare reform legislation that was supposed to move Americans away from entitlements and into the workforce.

However, “welfare benefits continue to outpace the income that most recipients can expect to earn from an entry-level job,” the study authors said. “And the balance between welfare and work may actually have grown worse in recent years.”

Among the other findings is that welfare in 13 states pays more than $15 an hour, compared with the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25.

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