Employment Factors Influencing Food Stamp Program Participation

Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe, with contributions from Emily Rosenberg

November 2003

"This study examines how employment characteristics of low-income households influence Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation. The relationship between employment and FSP participation is of special interest because, although more low-income working families are eligible to participate, many do not. Low-income working households are less likely to participate in the FSP if they work traditional daytime hours, hold multiple jobs, and work more hours, but they are more likely to participate if they frequently change jobs. However, the relationship between employment and FSP participation was stronger in the early 1990s than in the late 1990s, suggesting that barriers to participation among working families decreased during the decade."

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