This research looks at the influence of location on employment for ethnic minorities, asking why ethnic minority people fare disproportionately worse in the labour market in areas of high deprivation.
It examines the roles of culture, racism and class, and of familial, community and state support in affecting employment outcomes. It found that: Racism in education and employment varies by locality, contributing to differences in outcome by location.
- Racism in education and employment varies by locality, contributing to differences in outcome by place.
- Knowledge of education and labour market systems, and how to negotiate them, affects employment outcomes. Social segregation and migration tend to reduce knowledge and negotiating ability, leading to differing employment outcomes by place.
- Whilst social segregation may provide support, it can also reduce employment performance, limiting social networks and inhibiting labour market knowledge. For some ethnic groups, segregation reinforces cultural norms of women’s role as nurturer rather than breadwinner. Self-employment appeared to exacerbate social segregation, especially where labour was limited to family.
- There was some evidence that the relative size of ethnic minority groups in a locality might affect employment outcomes, with local policies likely to serve the largest ethnic minority group. This would contribute to differences in employment outcomes by place and should be explored further.
- The extent to which education policies support all groups to benefit equally from education and careers support varies with place and differences in outcomes by ethnicity and migrant history result.
- Providers of educational, careers and employment services need to reduce variations in access to services. Appropriate approaches may or may not be targeted at or tailored towards specific groups by ethnicity. However, it will be important to monitor by ethnicity how well key groups are served, particularly if the approach is not targeted.
To open the full report please click here.
This research looks at the experiences and preferences of low-income Caribbean, Pakistani and Somali people in balancing work and care responsibilities. It examines the particular challenges faced by these ethnic minority groups, and the challenges for employers and policy.
For most people, the two most important roles in life are caring for loved ones and working to earn a living. Over the past decades, more people have entered the labour market, while the proportion of those providing care has risen too. These developments create challenges for those seeking to ‘balance’ work and care, and are likely to continue given underlying demographic changes and developments in the labour market.
- Discrimination prevents low-income ethnic minority people from balancing work and care;
- Many people are unaware of free childcare provision for 2-4 year olds;
- Benefit changes are likely to make it more difficult to balance work and care for these people;
- Attitudes towards caring vary greatly across ethnic groups; and
- Caring responsibilities were predominantly taken up by women.
The report in full can be opened by clicking here.
Analysis of the latest data on poverty in the UK.
This annual report by the New Policy Institute gives a comprehensive picture of poverty in the UK, featuring analysis of low income, unemployment, low pay, homelessness and ill health.
A focus on the geographical distribution of disadvantage reveals that national averages mask huge variations between areas in unemployment, educational achievement, and life expectancy.
The research shows that:
- more than half of the 13 million people living in poverty in the UK in 2011/12 were in a working family;
- while the labour market has shown signs of revival in the last year, the number of people in low-paid jobs has risen and average incomes have fallen – around five million people are paid below the living wage;
- there is substantial movement in and out of work – 4.8 million different people have claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in the last two years;
- the proportion of pensioners in poverty is at its lowest for almost 30 years, but the proportion of working-age adults without children in poverty is the highest on record.
For the full report please click here, with a summary also available.
How can working families be helped out of poverty?
Research published this month reviewed trends in employment among couple families with children and considered policies and the wider context in four areas likely to affect their employment rate: family leave, childcare, the labour market, and the tax and benefit system.
- The risk of poverty is much higher for children in couple families where only one parent works;
- sole earner families account for a significant minority of poor families with children.
- Many fathers have to work long hours, making it harder for them to get involved in family life and more difficult for mothers to work.
To enable more low-income families to have both partners in work, authors recommend allowing second earners to keep more of their wages before means-tested benefits are withdrawn; more publically-funded affordable childcare; and phasing in more generous family leave, including longer paternity leave.
Please click here to open the full report, with a summary also available.
Poverty research must provide useful answers for policy and practice, says Chris Goulden.
To deal with entrenched problems of poverty in the UK, serious improvements need to be made to knowledge about the causes of poverty and the effectiveness of potential solutions.
As reported in the recent UBD full report (p.41):
One in four children in the District lives below the poverty line (households with less than 60% of average income) equating to 36,080 0-18 year olds. Bradford’s rate is more than the national average or West Yorkshire rate. A further third of the District’s children live in households that have low income plus material deprivation.
A two-day exercise led by a partnership between JRF and the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge identified the most important unanswered and researchable questions about poverty.
Ten of the most important questions were:
- What values, frames and narratives are associated with greater support for tackling poverty, and why?
- How do images of people in poverty influence policy debates in different countries?
- What are the most effective methods of increasing involvement and support for the education of children among their parents or guardians?
- What explains variation in wages as a share of GDP internationally?
- What is the nature and extent of poverty among those who do not or cannot access the safety net when they need it?
- How could targeting and incentivising payment of the Living Wage make it more effective at reducing household poverty?
- What are the positive and negative impacts of digital technologies on poverty?
- How do environmental and social regulations or obligations affect prices for those in poverty?
- Who benefits from poverty, and how?
- What evidence is there that economic growth reduces poverty overall, and under what circumstances?
The full paper 100 Questions: identifying research priorities for poverty prevention and reduction published in Journal of Poverty & Social Justice as an Open Access paper can be accessed here.