Abstract: This chapter takes a labour market perspective, gathering available statistical evidence and speculating on some possible outcomes of the closure of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme. It also introduces a general statistical context for the more localised analysis in the case studies [indexed from TD/TNC 125.855 to TD/TNC 125.858]. The author reminds readers of evidence that CDEP participants in receipt of wages had significantly better socioeconomic outcomes than the unemployed on a range of measures. To that extent, CDEP was evidently 'better than welfare'. Edited excerpt from publication.