unemployment

New research published today by the Department for Work and Pensions explores possible explanations for the relatively high levels of worklessness among tenants in social housing. A separate, forthcoming, report will present the detailed research findings.

The report highlights that the number of children living in severe poverty has risen over the period 2004/05–2007/08, from 11 to 13% of all children (estimating that in 2009 the number of children living in severe poverty remained at 1.7 million). This briefing outlines the key findings of the report and sets out why the UK government needs to refocus its efforts on the poorest children in the UK.

Study exploring social problems and changing perceptions of them in Britain since 1904. The periods covered include Edwardian Britain (1901-1910), the First World War and after (1914-1930s), planning and post-war reconstruction (late 1930s-early 1960s), the later twentieth century (1960s-90s) and the twenty-first century.

In a contribution to the JRF's 'social evils' series, Jose Harris examines social problems and changing perceptions of them since 1904. Social evils, such as hunger and destitution, were seen by the Victorians as unavoidable. Joseph Rowntree's more positive philosophy promoted social research and intervention to transform 'social evils' into less malign 'social problems' that could be cured. However, some of these problems have subsequently reappeared.

Report of a study which sought to identify the most deprived areas in England, Scotland and Wales and examine the impact of spatial disadvantage on educational outcomes for 16-18 year olds. It also looked at the comparative change in deprivation and educational outcomes over time.

Report investigating the extent of the social and economic costs associated with the issue of socially excluded young people in the UK and concluding that interventions helping young people get into employment, education or training can considerably reduce the costs of social exclusion.

Report drawing upon a range of statistical and other sources to construct a detailed picture of the incapacity benefit population in Glasgow and compare this with the west of Scotland and Scotland as a whole. The purpose was to produce a body of evidence which would assist in the task of improving the health and wellbeing of this population.

The government here welcomes the Houghton report, accepts its main recommendation that helping people to find and stay in work should be a local government priority, and describes the support put in place, strengthened integration and greater devolution, a challenge to local partnerships and support for the third sector and social enterprise. An annex summarises government response to Houghton and DWP's devolution offer.

Report of a qualitative study which aimed to deepen understanding of drinking behaviours and different drinking cultures in Scotland and make a contribution towards the further development of a Scottish strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Paper offering a critique of the New Deal scheme for the unemployed in the UK. It argues that the policy can be made more effective if the structure of the welfare-to-work system is changed to more closely reflect economic realities. It recommends aligning the institutions of the welfare-to-work system with the needs of employers and the disadvantaged which should have the effect of providing better jobs for the low-skilled and better workers for the private sector.