Better Off Working? Work, Poverty And Benefit Cycling

Ray, Kathryn; Hoggart, Lesley; Vegeris, Sandra and Taylor, Rebecca (2010). Better Off Working? Work, Poverty And Benefit Cycling. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York.



A study of the work experiences of a group of low-skilled workers over five years. Concern has been growing about the extent to which paid work is an effective route out of poverty and the extent of churning between work and benefits that can result in recurrent poverty.
Using both interview and survey data, this report examines work pathways, experiences of retention and progression, and feelings of financial strain among a group of lone parents and former long-term unemployed people who have entered work.
The report covers:
• people’s perceptions of poverty and financial strain and how this relates to their movements in and out of work;
• people’s trajectories in work and the factors facilitating or constraining work retention;
• the relationship between work trajectories and moving into ‘better work’;
• what enables or constrains people in their attempts to progress in work; and
• tensions and trade-offs between retention and progression.

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