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Poverty and insecurityLife in low-pay, no-pay Britain$
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Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, and Colin Webster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429117

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.001.0001

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Researching the low-pay, no-pay cycle and recurrent poverty

Researching the low-pay, no-pay cycle and recurrent poverty

(p.39) 3 Researching the low-pay, no-pay cycle and recurrent poverty
Poverty and insecurity

Tracy Shildrick

Robert MacDonald

Colin Webster

Kayleigh Garthwaite

Policy Press

This chapter locates the research for the book methodologically and geographically. The chapter describes the particular place – Middlesbrough in North East England – where the research was conducted and the rapid and dramatic social and economic changes that have affected the place. In particular, the chapter charts the steep (and continuing) decline of relatively well paid, skilled, standard jobs in manufacturing industry partially off-set (in terms of total levels of employment) by a rapid increase of female participation in growing service and new manufacturing sectors of the economy. The chapter shows how these changes have simultaneously contributed to the lowering of wages and an increase in involuntary part-time and precarious work for men and women across employment sectors. In this context the local labour market is typically characterised by the prevalence of underemployment in non-standard, lower skilled, insecure and lower paid jobs. Unemployment is a commonly understood feature of deindustrialised labour markets, as is the potential for the degradation of employment. Less commonly understood is how unemployment and casualised, insecure poor work can combine together to create the low-pay, no-pay cycle which is the key focus of this book. The chapter also describes the research methodology which was employed in the study.

Keywords:   Middlesbrough, Teesside, Deindustrialisation, Unemployment, Labour market, Interviews, Methods

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