Saturday, 26 June 2010

Workers on the brink of poverty

While being in employment is a key safeguard against poverty, it does not necessarily guarantee that poverty is no longer a risk. Across Europe, it is estimated that 8% of those in employment are at or below the poverty level (earning less than 60% of median income). A new report from Eurofound finds that policymakers rarely seem to tackle this complex and little-recognised phenomenon directly, dealing with it rather as part of more general anti-poverty measures. Some national governments have, however, set out to address it explicitly. In the UK, for instance, the Income Support scheme is designed to boost the incomes of low-income workers, while in Norway, tax reductions have been proposed for such workers. However, rising unemployment, wage cuts and cuts in working time in response to recession – as well as reductions in social benefits – are likely to have pushed many workers close to the brink of in-work poverty.
Read the study
via Eurofound News April 2010

Disability, education and training

an article by Melanie Jones (School of Business and Economics, Swansea University) published in Economic & Labour Market Review Volume 4 issue 4 (April 2010)

This article uses data from the 2008 Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) to examine differences in human capital between disabled and non-disabled individuals of working age. The initial focus of the paper is on how the level of educational attainment differs between the two groups. It goes on to consider differences in the accumulation of human capital, both through post-compulsory education and through job-related education and training. (Original summary)

Read the full article (PDF 6pp)

Construction industry labour market

Understanding the divergence between output and employment in the UK construction industry by Yonathan van den Brink and Mavis Anagboso (Office for National Statistics) published in Economic & Labour Market Review Volume 4 Issue 3 (March 2010)

This article examines recent divergence between output and employment in the UK construction industry. It looks at the construction labour market and highlights how its flexibility (in relation to other industries) may have contributed to the observed divergence. It also looks at structural changes in the UK economy that may have contributed to the observed divergence between employment and output. Notably, it considers the measurement of migrant workers in the construction sector and the growth in the number of small businesses. The article concludes that, although construction statistics are well developed, the construction industry’s unique characteristics still present significant challenges in the measurement methodology of output and employment. (Original summary)

Read full article (PDF 6pp) and enjoy the clear explanation as to why the construction industry employment and output figures seem to be in divergence with the former going up while the latter comes down.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Welfare Rights Bulletin

After a considerable period of being unavailable at the British Library this journal has re-appeared. Still only up to October 2009 though – which means December '09 and the first three issues for this year are still to come. It will be the August 2010 edition that will be commenting on the changes proposed by the new administration in its Emergency Budget. The publishers, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) issue regular press releases but I can find no way of signing up to receive these on a regular basis!
Hazel’s comment:
I make no apology for the long absence since these apologies are boring. Suffice it to say that I'm back. Thanks for your patience.