Welfare caseloads have grown more slowly during the economic downturn than the number of families receiving food stamps or unemployment benefits. This is partly because people turn first to unemployment benefits if they can, and it is easier to qualify for food stamps than welfare. In some high-unemployment states, such as California, welfare rolls are up, but in a few, such as Rhode Island, rolls have shrunk.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor; Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Pamela Tobey/The Washington Post
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