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 set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.
The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in February, an additional 11,517 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 11.65% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 13.97%.
Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 10.78% over the same period.
The latest results show food stamps participation continuing to grow but at a notably slower rate and coming nearly simultaneously with a correlated decline in the total unemployment rate likely indicating that both indicators are defining a peak.
Still, participation continues to increase with nominal benefit costs climbing a lofty 11.37% on a year-over-year basis to $5.889 billion for the month.