Caring and earning among low-income Caribbean, Pakistani and Somali people

JRF-logoThis 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.

Key findings

  • 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.

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How does money influence health?

JRF-logoWhy do people in poverty tend to have poorer health?

This study looks at hundreds of theories to consider how income influences health. There is a graded association between money and health – increased income equates to better health. But the reasons are debated.

Researchers have reviewed theories from 272 wide-ranging papers, most of which examined the complex interactions between people’s income and their health throughout their lives.

Key points

This research identifies four main ways money affects people’s wellbeing:

  • Material: Money buys goods and services that improve health. The more money families have, the better the goods they can buy.
  • Psychosocial: Managing on a low income is stressful. Comparing oneself to others and feeling at the bottom of the social ladder can be distressing, which can lead to biochemical changes in the body, eventually causing ill health.
  • Behavioural: For various reasons, people on low incomes are more likely to adopt unhealthy behaviours – smoking and drinking, for example – while those on higher incomes are more able to afford healthier lifestyles.
  • Reverse causation (poor health leads to low income): Health may affect income by preventing people from taking paid employment. Childhood health may also affect educational outcomes, limiting job opportunities and potential earnings.

To open the full report please click here.

Cities, Growth and Poverty

JRF-logoWhat is the connection between growth and poverty in UK cities? Cities are increasingly seen as the drivers of the national economy, and the UK Government is devolving new powers to the largest and fastest-growing urban areas. Cities also tend to have concentrations of poverty. 

An evidence review examines how strategies for economic growth and poverty reduction can be aligned.

Summary findings

  • There is no guarantee that economic growth will reduce poverty – in some economically expanding cities poverty has stayed the same or increased;
  • employment growth has the greatest impact on poverty, but if jobs are low-paid or go to workers living outside the area, the impact is minimal;
  • increased output risks worsening poverty because it can lead to increases in the cost of living;
  • some cities are tackling this by promoting employment in expanding sectors or providing training for disadvantaged groups so they can access opportunities associated with major infrastructure projects.

The full report can be opened here.