WP 5 – Employment, education and poverty

Research tentatively points to two principal reasons why marked increases in employment rates in the EU have gone accompanied with stagnant or in some case even rising poverty rates.

  • First, job growth has not sufficiently benefited poor people and has not produced commensurate drops in household joblessness (Gregg, Scutella and Wadsworth, 2010; De Graaf-Zijl and Nolan, 2010; Marx, 2007; Kenworthy, 2008; 2011).
  • Second, a job does not always pay enough to escape poverty; in-work poverty has become a pan-European phenomenon (Andress and Lohmann, 2008; European Foundation, 2010)

Yet boosting labour participation levels remains to be seen as an important anti-poverty strategy, and it is also one at the heart of the Europe2020 strategy. Against this background, it is essential to gain an in-depth understanding of the link between employment and poverty, including in-work poverty, in different institutional settings and policy regimes.

The principal objective of this work package is to exploit the available statistical as well as institutional data in order to gain an in-depth understanding of past outcomes in EU countries, and to disentangle the impacts of socio-demographic, economic and institutional changes, the latter to comprise labour market institutions, active labour market policies and care support policies. In addition, we will focus on several target groups of particular interest: the less-skilled, migrants, women, young people and non- standard workers. In view of the increasingly precarious position of less-educated workers and their exposure to unemployment and in-work poverty, the work package will also delve deeper into the mechanisms driving educational outcomes, especially as these affect the most vulnerable.

The work to be performed under this work package will benefit from cross-feeding with work to be performed under WP 9. The results should provide direct input for the indicator enhancement phase of the project (particularly activity 3 under WP 12) and the prospective modelling to be performed under WP 15, activity 3.