Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants' Employment Characteristics and Barriers to Work

Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research
Jul 19, 2017
James Mabli and Irina Cheban
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance benefits to low-income people in an effort to reduce hunger and improve health and well-being. It is also a critical work support for many people. Policymakers recently have sought to strengthen the program participants’ pathways toward self-sufficiency, including considering existing and new work requirements for participants and improving and expanding the SNAP Employment and Training program that assists unemployed and underemployed participants in job search, job skills training, education, and work experience and training. However, relatively little is known about the labor force participation and employment decisions of SNAP participants, job characteristics among employed participants, and barriers to work among participants who are unemployed or out of the labor force (referred to as non-employed). This report helps to fill this gap by using the most recently available national longitudinal survey data to examine the employment experiences of SNAP participants.