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Originally published November 26 2014

In Illinois, 2 people sign up for food stamps for every 1 person who finds a job

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The Land of Lincoln is sinkin', with fresh Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data revealing a massive spike in food stamp enrollment with minimal job creation in the state of Illinois. According to the figures, only one new job is being created for every two new people who sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), proving that economic recovery is still just a pipe dream.

Since 2008 Illinois' number of food stamp dependents has risen by a shocking 745,000

Since the start of the so-called "recession" back in 2008, the number of food stamp dependents in Illinois has risen by a shocking 745,000, according to Illinois Policy. At the same time, the number of working Illinoisans has plunged by 300,000, with 170,000 fewer payroll jobs. In other words, jobs have continued to dry up in the Prairie State while government dependence has increased dramatically.

"Illinois' sluggish jobs recovery is coming at a tremendous cost," explains Illinois Policy. "Without adequate job creation in the state, Illinois families have had no choice but to depend upon food stamps to put bread on the table."

For a visual illustration of what's taken place, check out the following graph. You will notice that food stamp enrollment began to rise steadily beginning in 2008 around the same time that Illinois lost some 300,000 jobs. In early 2010, some new jobs, likely paying far less, were created, but far more food stamp enrollees were added during this time.


This ghastly scenario obviously can't continue forever, as there needs to be enough working taxpayers in the pool to actually pay for the food stamps being used by others. But based on current trends, food stamp enrollment seems to be increasing with no end in sight, while very few jobs are being created to fill the gap.

"The pace at which Illinois has been creating jobs is simply not good enough for Illinois families, and policy mistakes, such as the historic 2011 tax hikes, have made it worse," adds Illinois Policy. "Illinois has gained only 240,000 jobs since the bottom of the recession, while food-stamp enrollments has gone up by 420,000."

Illinois ranks dead last for private sector job creation

Compared to the rest of the nation, Illinois trails all the other states in approaching anything close to an economic recovery. Earlier BLS data compiled by Illinois Policy reveals that Illinois ranks dead last in private job creation, even behind states like Ohio and Michigan. Just during the month of June, an astounding 21,600 people dropped out of the Illinois labor force, despite the fact that the working-age population has jumped by 17,000 over the past four months.

"In the last four months, a total of 63,000 Illinoisans have quit the labor force," reported the independent government watchdog group. "Meanwhile, Illinois' working-age population has grown by 17,000 in the last four months, leaving a total of 80,000 working-age Illinoisans out of the workforce and unaccounted for since March."

Here's another visual showing the fallout:


Interestingly, the states that have seen the most job creation have been places like Colorado and Washington, both of which have made great strides in ending prohibition of cannabis. The medical and recreational marijuana industries continue to be an economic boon for these states, serving as a template for states like Illinois that could use a fiscal jumpstart.

"Lawmakers need to jump-start entrepreneurship and embrace structural reform in order to get the economy going again," says Illinois Policy. "Without a fair shot at work, Illinoisans are forced into food-stamp dependency."


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