For the first time since the Great Recession, most states are seeing a drop in the number of people relying on food assistance from the government.
According to an analysis by a non-profit Washington D.C. think tank, 47 out of 50 states over the last year have seen their food stamp caseloads shrink. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put Kentucky in the mix.
Nearly 56,000 fewer Kentuckians were on food stamps at the end of June compared to a year ago, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
"There's a strong connection between how many people are eligible for food stamps or receiving food stamps to unemployment and the economy, so those things are pretty closely related," says Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
Bailey says Kentucky is adding jobs, but at a modest pace. He predicts it will be at least three years before the number of available jobs returns to pre-recession levels.
Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been on a gradual decline for the past five months. June’s jobless rate stood at 7.4%.