ESRI calls on Government to tackle 'household joblessness'

ESRI calls on Government to tackle 'household joblessness'

The ESRI has called for action to address household joblessness.

The term applies to working age households where nobody works - and is seen as a major risk factor for poverty and welfare dependency.

It is distinct from individual unemployment as it includes other reasons (as well as unemployment) for non-employment such as caring responsibilities, illness or disability and it takes account of whether there are other adults in the household in employment.

The rate of jobless households in Ireland is much higher than in other EU countries.

In 2014, 14% of working-age adults and 16% of children lived in jobless households, down from a peak of 16% and 20% respectively in 2011/12, however.

The ESRI's Transitions into and out of Household Joblessness, 2004 to 2014 Report also found that in all three periods between 2004 to 2014 (boom, recession and recovery) and across different household types, the odds of employment entry for someone in a jobless household were only 0.59 times those of someone living in a working household.

Research also found that the rate of transition into employment was low for married women, older adults, those with lower education, and residents of the Border, Midlands and South-East regions.

Dorothy Watson, Associate Research Professor with the ESRI, said that there should be set policies to deal with the issue.

"While traditional employment policy has focused on those defined as unemployed and actively seeking work, tackling joblessness will require a broader focus that also includes those engaged on home duties and people with a disability," she said.

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