The depth of the recession and a slow early recovery nearly doubled the percentage of Idaho workers who had jobs and were still receiving government assistance through Medicaid and other programs for the low income and disabled.
In jumping from 2 percent in 2008, or about 14,400 of the 727,000 employed, to 3.6 percent in 2012, or about 25,700 of 711,000 employed, Idaho still had one of the nation’s lowest percentages of workers on welfare, even with the state’s comparatively low wages. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Idaho ranked 40th among the states and the District of Columbia in 2012, up from 49th in 2008. Only Nevada at 1.4 percent and Virginia at 1.8 percent had lower percentages of workers on welfare in 2008.
Nationally, the percentage of workers receiving assistance rose from 3.9 percent in 2008 to 5.4 percent in 2014.