Monday, 5 November 2012

Work IS the best route out of poverty – half the time

via JRF - Combined Feed by Chris Goulden

Is work the best route out of poverty?

This cliché has been pinging around again following Iain Duncan Smith’s interview yesterday [on 25 October], where he said that unemployed people need “to learn that it’s the right thing to go to work”.

On the face of it, the answer is a clear yes but if you look more closely at the evidence, it’s only a half-truth.

Proponents of the ‘work is best’ view often compare the relative income poverty figures for households where everyone is working full-time (3% before housing costs) with those where all adults are out of work (much higher at 55%).

But the latter kinds of households are very different. It is not the case that if you move from being a workless to fully employed household, you immediately lower your risk of poverty to 3%.

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