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Food stamp use still rising despite good jobs news

Household food stamp participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak, set as a result of Hurricane Katrina

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This chart shows how food stamp participation has risen with the unemployment rate since 2005. The last peak in food stamp use occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at the end of 2005, and the current peak has far surpassed that.

As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.

In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak (which looks like a minor blip by comparison) set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in October, 45,528 recipients were removed from the food stamps program with the current total still increasing 7.0% on a year-over-year basis while household participation increased 8.85%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 6.22% over the same period.

Participation continues to increase with nominal benefit costs climbing a lofty 7.87% on a year-over-year basis to $6.23 billion for the month.

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