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Monday, 10 November 2014

14 insights from the UK Social Research Council's #Insights 2014 Report - and some questions for your #agency #charity or #church

- these struck me as I read through the rather wonderful Insights 2014 (the report highlights the findings from the Economic and Social Research Council’s flagship study: Understanding Society – the UK Household Longitudinal Study)

On Saturday I posted about 5 social myths I thought the report busted and on 2 insights it gives to the future.  This 2nd post summarises those and adds some other insights I think the report has.  The obvious questions for your organisation are:

1) how do you help such groups?
2) how do you spot such changes in the groups you currently help?
3) how will these changes affect the availability of volunteers?

Insights from the Report

1) The bottom 3 deciles are the most vulnerable losers in the recession.

2) Large numbers of people dip in and out of poverty - and the permanent underclass - from one year to the next, depending on whether they found or lost a job, received or lost benefits, found or lost a partner.

3) Early childhood and young adulthood experience significantly influences adult life chances & physical & mental health - so experiences in education, employment and income, (note the precise mechanisms of this long-term effect remain to be traced).

4) Are we really increasingly individualistic, autonomous and mobile?. This dominant liberal idea of how people want to live is challenged as people, it turns out, are rather conservative creatures who mix with people much like themselves, still live in extended families and do not want to end up on their own.  (note 60% of adults live within 20 miles of where they lived when they were 14 and people prefer informal or family-based care to institutionalised childcare. Most mothers continue to put family before work when children are young though usually want, or need, to continue with some form of employment).

5) Ethnic Minorities are the last to benefit & the 1st to be let go - Most pertinent at the moment, is the risk that black and brown people are the last to benefit from a rise in labour demand and the first to be let go during a downturn. Almost all minority groups, except the Indian community, have unemployment rates double the national average.

6) The unemployed are more likely to be unemployed 1 year later - Those who experience unemployment are nearly 8% more likely to be unemployed 1 year later than those employed.  The scarring effect is higher when unemployment is higher.

7) Lone parents are more likely to experience poverty than couples with no children.

8) Middle Income Households:1 in 10 are behind on the rent - 1 in 10 reported being behind on rent or mortgage at least once in the past year (note middle income household who avoided a squeeze on their real wages spent less on food, entered the part time labour market, used grandparents for free child care, were helped by low interest rates and postponed a house move)

9) 11-15 yr olds with less educated parents have reduced educational aspiration - increased unemployment rates reduce the educational aspirations of such - and there is up to a 25% point in the probability of wanting to go to university 
among children with low educated parents relative to children with high educated parents.

10) 25-34 yr olds are staying/returning to the parental homw - 18% of men stay in their parental home compared with 10% of women. 60% of men and over 40% of women who become unemployed on leaving full time education are likely to return home. Unemployed men and women are significantly more likely to remain living with their parents as compared to those working full time.

11) Families entering poverty when a new child arrives - Changes in family size have a significant impact on entries into poverty. A new child accounts for 14% of poverty entries.  Poor couples with children, the largest of the poor groups, have seen the prevalence of poverty increase while overall poverty rates have slightly fallen.

12) Half of all mothers rely on grandparents to provide childcare - over 80% of parents are now at work with 1/2 of all mothers relying on grandparents to provide childcare when they return to work after maternity leave.  1 in 4 working families depend on grandparents for childcare.  63% of all grandparents with a grandchild under 16 look after their grandchildren.  As a result, grandparents are now contributing some £7.3 billion a year to the economy, up from £3.9 billion in 2004

13) By 2050 the 5 largest Black and Minority Ethnic communities could potentially double - from 8 million people or 14% of the population to between 20-30% by 2050

14) Ethnicity as a marker of who succeeds - but not in a negative way as now. Ethnic minority groups are more likely than their white counterparts to go to university. (note all ethnic minority groups have higher proportions of students staying on in formal education, especially university, at 16 and 18, than the White population)

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