State-wide Number of Food Stamp Recipients Continues to Rise despite Modest Economic Gains


Despite small improvements across several ‘economic indicators’ (statistics which provide a glimpse of regional economic health), the number of food stamp recipients continues to rise state-wide.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate for May 2014 was 6.3 percent. Georgia lagged behind at 7.2 percent.

This represents a significant recovery from recession era figures (which exceeded 10 percent state wide and beyond 30 percent in some areas of the state).

Wages have also risen steadily in Georgia post recession. The mean wage for the state is $21.17. This represents a 5 percent increase between 2013 and 2014 for the month of July.

However, poverty rates continued to RISE during the economic recovery until 2013.

At the height of the recession (2009) Georgia’s poverty rate was 16.5%. Subsequent years’ percentages are as follows:

17.9%in 2010
19.1% in 2011
19.2% in 2012
18.0% in 2013

The 2013 Poverty rate for Pickens’s County was 13.6 percent (or 3,939 people).

The child poverty rate was 20.9 percent.

In 2013, there were 2,366 households (5,303 residents enrolled) in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as ‘food stamps’. This represents a cost of$ 7,928.594.00 to the federal government for 2013 for Pickens County.

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