Conventional wisdom holds that women on welfare will be better off in the long run if they take a job, even if it means initially having less money to spend on their and their children's needs. Underlying this thinking is the belief that women who take low-paying jobs will eventually move up to higher paying jobs either with their current employer or by changing employers. This paper examines the employment transitions of young women focusing on the likelihood that women who turn to the welfare system for support will make the transition from low-paying to high-paying jobs. The data are drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Based on the experiences of women who never received welfare, an estimated one-quarter of young women who received welfare could be firmly established in jobs paying more than $9.50 an hour by ages 26 and 27. An additional 40 percent would work steadily but in low-paying jobs, and more than one-third would work only sporadically. © 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.