Share of SNAP households also receiving unemployment insurance lowest for those with the least education

A chart showing the share of SNAP households receiving unemployment insurance by householder's education level.

Unemployment rose sharply during the 2007-09 recession, and households whose members were eligible for unemployment insurance became a larger component of the SNAP caseload, increasing the share of SNAP households that also receive unemployment insurance. A recent ERS study found that an estimated 14.4 percent of SNAP households also received unemployment insurance at some point in 2009—nearly double the estimate of 7.8 percent in 2005 (a full-employment year). SNAP households with a more educated householder (head of household) are more likely to receive support from both programs, as individuals with little schooling are perhaps less likely to have work histories and sufficient earnings to be eligible for unemployment insurance. In 2009, 8.1 percent of SNAP households headed by someone with less than a 9th grade education also received unemployment insurance, and 10.8 percent of SNAP households headed by someone with some high school, but no diploma, received unemployment insurance. For SNAP households with a householder having a high school diploma or higher, the share receiving support from both programs was statistically equivalent at between 14.2 and 16.9 percent. The statistics for this chart are from the ERS report, Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Insurance: How Tight Are the Strands of the Recessionary Safety Net?, ERR-157, released on November 7, 2013.

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