Mandatory Employment and Training Programs Could Increase America’s GDP By $160 Billion

News Image

“State lawmakers must adopt policies that equip these able-bodied adults collecting food stamps with the tools needed to help them get off the sidelines,” said Jonathan Bain, Senior Research Fellow at FGA.

A recent report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) explains how lawmakers can increase national gross domestic product (GDP) by nearly $160 billion by requiring participation in employment and training (E&T) programs mandatory for able-bodied adults collecting food stamps.

During the height of the pandemic, federal lawmakers suspended commonsense work requirements for able-bodied adults on food stamps, causing many states to see soaring food stamp enrollment and a shrinking labor force. Now, the latest available data shows that most able-bodied adults on food stamps do not work at all.

An updated economic model—similar to the one used by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after work requirements were first adopted in 1996—shows that making E&T participation mandatory for able-bodied adults in food stamps can bolster the labor force, and boost the national economy, increasing the country’s GDP by nearly $160 billion.

“States already have well-funded E&T programs in place, but these programs lack participation, causing taxpayer dollars to be wasted,” said Senior Research Fellow Jonathan Bain. “As the Biden administration continues to push policies that discourage work and handcuff the American economy, state lawmakers must adopt policies that equip these able-bodied adults collecting food stamps with the tools needed to help them get off the sidelines.”

By making E&T participation mandatory states can do what federal lawmakers will not—enact policies that drive change, address critical worker shortages, and strengthen the economy.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that promotes public policy solutions to create opportunities for every American to experience the American Dream. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.

Share article on social media or email: