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Welfare Reform and the Employment of Lone Parents

In: The Labour Market Under New Labour


  • Paul Gregg
  • Susan Harkness


Employment rates for lone parents in the UK in the early 1990s were extremely low, when compared with those in other countries or with married women in this country, at just over 40 per cent. Since 1993 the employment of lone parents has risen by 11 percentage points to reach 53 per cent in 2002. This is more than twice the increase in employment for the population as a whole. The rate of increase in employment was notably faster after 1998 when government policies aimed at raising employment levels of lone parents, the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) and the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) came into effect. Analysis presented here suggests that these policies raised the proportion of lone parents who were working at least 16 hours (the level needed to receive WFTC) by just over 7 percentage points, affecting 120,000 lone parents. The number of hours worked by those lone parents already working appears to have been largely unaffected by the policy changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness, 2003. "Welfare Reform and the Employment of Lone Parents," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Richard Dickens & Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth (ed.), The Labour Market Under New Labour, chapter 7, pages 98-115, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-0-230-59845-4_8
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230598454_8

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