The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between forms of labour market marginalisation, understood here in terms of labour market status and job quality on the one hand, and income disadvantage, material deprivation and social exclusion on the other hand. Public policies that aim to improve labour market position and the income level of people disadvantaged in the labour market are also assessed. The authors draw on data from a survey on social exclusion in the Czech Republic focusing on people who were welfare benefits recipients in 2004 or considered their situation to be comparable to that of welfare recipients. The authors show that labour market marginalisation is transparent not only during unemployment spells (often repeated and longterm) but also in the case of temporary, low paid and poor quality jobs. The income levels of people employed in the lowest segment of the labour market and of the unemployed are similar, while the deprivation of the unemployed is greater with regard to the possibilities open to them to influence the life course and opportunities of them and especially their families. The authors point out the under-use of welfare benefits and identify measures that could improve the standard of living and human capital of people who are disadvantaged. While some disadvantaged people continue to be active in the labour market and perceive work incentives, the authors also identify the poverty traps that emerge for the fraction of them who become discouraged and welfare-dependent.
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