The majority of chronically poor people are economically active but the poor quality of that work, including its low-pay, dangerous conditions and insecurity means that it frequently keeps people in poverty. Escapes from poverty, meanwhile, are related to changing conditions of work and additional labour income.

There are three broad lines of enquiry for policymakers to ensure that people can work out of chronic poverty; generating sufficient employment opportunities; improving wages and conditions; and increasing the access of chronically poor people to these opportunities.  Education is important, as are innovative alliances across state and society to improve working conditions and provide an identity for chronically poor workers. Investments in social protection and infrastructure are also critical.

CPAN’s work argues that the challenge of improving the quality and quantity of work for the poorest people is far too important and extensive just to be left to ministries of labour.  

To read more about employment and chronic poverty, download the Employment Policy Guide: Working out of chronic poverty.

Download the accompanying Policy Brief here.

You can browse our full library of policy guides and other publications in our resources section. To find more publications that are relevant to employment and chronic policy, search using the employment tag.