Working a minimum wage job isn’t enough to keep a family out of poverty. In fact, it’s likely that low wages are keeping working families dependent on things like welfare and food stamps. That means that taxpayers are paying for the fact that low-wage jobs can’t begin to support working families.

According to a new study from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, nearly 75 percent of those participating in safety net programs are members of working families.

“When jobs don’t pay enough, workers turn to public assistance in order to meet their basic needs.”

American jobs have stagnated for decades, in terms of both wages and benefits. American workers’ median hourly wages have only increased by five percent since 1979, and employer-provided healthcare fell by nearly nine percentage points between 2003 and 2013. It’s no surprise that more and more working families are coming to depend on public support programs. But it comes at a serious social cost.

The study analyzed data on the healthcare programs Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the income assistance program Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF); food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP); and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

“Overall, we find that between 2009 and 2011 the federal government spent $127.8 billion per year on these four programs for working families and the states collectively spent $25 billion per year on Medicaid/CHIP and TANF for working families for a total of $152.8 billion per year.”

As legislators drag their feet on increasing the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid, taxpayers are footing the progressively more expensive bill.

Click here to read the full report.