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Open Access Werkende armen in Nederland

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Working poor in the Netherlands: Transitions in and out of the working poor

The Netherlands has increasing numbers of working poor. Recent figures show that one in twenty working individuals in the Netherlands lives in a household below the poverty threshold. In Amsterdam, the in-work poverty risk is even higher than average; the reason for this research. The Amsterdam working poor are a heterogeneous category. Half of them have permanent contracts; a large minority works at least 30 hours a week. They work in sectors like transport, shops, catering, but also in public services. Many, but not all working poor are poorly educated. Are they the victims of activating labour market policies that push low-skilled workers on the labour market without escaping from poverty? This appears not to be the case. Less than half of the working poor in Amsterdam entered this situation after having a social benefit. The majority of these former social benefit claimants say they did not experience any pressure to accept low-paid work instead of a social benefit. The other working poor entered this situation from some other employment or directly from school. Respondents mention three factors as reasons of becoming working poor: physical or mental health problems, child care responsibilities, and deficient education. More often, it is a combination of unfavourable factors that results in in-work poverty.
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Keywords: Amsterdam; causes of poverty; poverty; working poor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Mens & Maatschappij, opgericht in 1925, stelt zich ten doel sociaalwetenschappelijke kennis te verspreiden die relevant is voor de Nederlandse samenleving. Hiertoe publiceert M&M oorspronkelijke, Nederlandstalige artikelen van auteurs uit alle sociale wetenschappen, ongeacht richting of stroming. M&M kenmerkt zich door: een breed palet aan thema's, representatief voor het hele onderzoeksgebied van de sociale wetenschappen; artikelen waarin de confrontatie wordt gezocht tussen sociaalwetenschappelijke theorie en empirisch onderzoek; een grondige en opbouwende reviewprocedure met oog voor wetenschappelijke kwaliteit en beleidsrelevantie. Behalve reguliere nummers publiceert M&M ieder jaar een themanummer waarin specialisten op uitnodiging van de redactie schrijven over een actueel thema.

    Mens & Maatschappij, founded in 1925, publishes the latest research in the social sciences relevant to Dutch society. To this end M&M publishes original articles in the Dutch language of authors from all social sciences, irrespective of approach. M&M can be characterized by: its broad range of topics, representative for the whole research domain of the social sciences; articles that confront theory with empirical research; a thorough and constructive review process with an eye for scholarly quality and relevance for policy. M&M publishes four issues a year, including a once-yearly special issue in which specialists write extensively about a topical theme, on the invitation of the editorial board.
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