New report shows impact of recession on families

Almost one-in-three children have been deprived of food, heating or clothing during the recession, according to a new study from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The study, entitled 'Winners and Losers? The Equality Impact of the Great Recession in Ireland' looked at the impact on the downturn on different age groups and family types over the past five years.

It found that younger people have been the worst affected, with unemployment rates hitting 25% for the under 25s.

Some 130,000 children are found to have suffered deprivation, defined as not being able to afford basic food, clothes or heating. Almost 33% of under-14s fall into this category, compared to 11% for the over-65s.

Younger people were also hit harder by job losses, with unemployment among the under-25s reaching 25% compared to 12% for those aged 45 and over.

Cohabiting couples with children experienced the steepest rise in job cuts, while childless couples were far less likely to be deprived.

"There are no clear ‘winners’ in this report: we find rising unemployment and deprivation across the population," said author Dr Frances McGinnity.

"However significant inequalities between groups existed in Irish society before the recession, and to a large extent these persist, though some groups certainly lost more."

A separate study by the think-tank looked at the impact of job-losses on both sexes, with men suffering the most dramatic impact.

The gender gap between men and women in work fell from 16% in 2007 to 8% in 2012 - while 1 in 10 women are now the main breadwinner.

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