Friday, March 27, 2015
WHY SNAP ISN’T FALLING AS FAST AS UNEMPLOYMENT
Some critics argue that SNAP enrollment’s failure to fall in tandem with the sharp drop in the unemployment rate over the past few years indicates that most of the rise in SNAP’s enrollment after 2007 was not related to the economy. The critical reality, however, is that SNAP enrollment remains high because the job market continues to exhibit scars from the Great Recession that the unemployment rate does not fully reflect. Despite increased employment numbers, the share of the population with a job remains abnormally low, the number of people working fewer hours than they would like remains abnormally high as does long-term unemployment, and wage growth continues to be anemic. In addition, the number of unemployed workers who aren’t receiving any unemployment insurance (UI) benefits — the group most likely to qualify for SNAP because they have neither sufficient wages nor UI benefits — is higher now than at the bottom of the recession.
Source: Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/18/15, SNAP and the Economy