Many do not claim the benefits they should be entitled to. To find out why, the government must make better use of its databy Toby Phillips / January 11, 2018 / Leave a comment
When we think of needy people, we usually think of the unemployed. Government systems—and our entire way of thinking—is focussed around joblessness as a marker for needing support. My recent Resolution Foundation research suggests the relationship between unemployment and needing help isn’t so clear cut.
Most unemployed people don’t get benefits; while a third of people on the dole aren’t technically unemployed. To untangle this issue we need to answer two questions: who needs help? And do they get it? (Spoiler alert: 300,000 people are missing out.)
The social dynamics of unemployment have been shifting over recent decades. Twenty years ago, a job was a job. But the rise in insecure and low-paid work—zero-hour contracts and the gig economy—means the line between having a job and being jobless is blurred. A gig worker is no longer counted in unemployment statistics, but is life materially different if you only get two hours of work this week?