|Date:||10 July 2017|
|Authors:||Jonathan Cribb , Andrew Hood , Robert Joyce and Agnes Norris Keiller|
Over the last 20 years, growth in the earnings of working fathers has been extremely slow, at 0.3% a year on average, while mothers’ earnings have grown by more than 2% a year. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for families where only the father is working to keep up with other families. This matters: around a quarter of children live in a one-earner couple family – around the same proportion as 20 years ago.
These are some of the findings from new IFS analysis released today, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).
Looking in more detail at the incomes of families dependent on fathers' earnings:
These trends are important for understanding low living standards among children:
Certain types of families are particularly likely to be one-earner couples:
Jonathan Cribb, a Senior Research Economist at IFS and an author of the new report, said:
"With men's earnings growing so slowly over the last 20 years, it has become increasingly hard for families dependent on the father’s earnings alone to keep up with other families. The average incomes of one-earner couples with children have not grown at all since the early 2000s, and the only reason that they are any higher than in the mid 1990s is the greater generosity of benefits and tax credits."
Andrew Hood, a Senior Research Economist at IFS and another author of the report, said:
"Boosting the incomes of large numbers of families dependent on fathers' earnings may well be challenging. The vast majority of the fathers are already working full time, most of the mothers are not actively seeking paid work, and increases in in-work benefits targeted at the group would be likely to further weaken the financial incentive for those families to become dual earners. But increasingly it is a challenge that governments wanting to improve the living standards of low-income children should be considering."
1. "In-work poverty among families with children" by Jonathan Cribb, Andrew Hood, Robert Joyce and Agnes Norris Keiller will be published on the IFS website www.ifs.org.uk at 00.01 Monday 10 July 2017.
For embargoed copies, or if you have any questions, please contact Emma Hyman in the IFS press office: firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7291 4850 / 07730667 013.
2. This paper forms a small part of the wider and flagship annual publication 'Living Standards, Poverty and Inequality in the UK'. This publication will be launched in full on Wednesday 19 July 2017 and a separate press release for outlining our overall findings will be issued closer the time. You are welcome to sign up to attend the launch event: https://www.ifs.org.uk/events/1484
3. This work has been produced with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an independent organisation working to inspire social change through research, policy and practice. For more information visit www.jrf.org.uk JRF is on Twitter. Keep up to date with news and comments @jrf_uk. For press releases, blogs and responses follow @jrfmedia.