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Nottingham Civic Exchange launch

More families in Nottingham are likely to be struggling financially than the UK average due to the high proportion of households employed in low paid caring roles, according to new analysis.

Ordinary Working Family
Ordinary Working Family

Nottingham feels financial squeeze harder than most

More families in Nottingham are likely to be struggling financially than the UK average due to the high proportion of households employed in low paid caring roles.

Analysis by Nottingham Civic Exchange – a new think tank based at Nottingham Trent University – shows Nottingham’s reliance on certain low paid, caring and leisure occupations means more residents in the city are likely to fall into the category of “Ordinary Working Families” than elsewhere in the country.

The think tank’s Out of the Ordinary: Exploring the lives of ordinary working families report will be shared at its launch event tonight (June 15).

It reveals the average income level of “Ordinary Working Families” – those just about coping economically – is slightly less than £25,000 once housing and tax costs have been taken into account, while 11.5% of households in Nottingham (higher than the national average of 9%) are employed in caring and leisure services with average annual salaries of just £17,000 a year. Nottingham also has far fewer residents employed in higher paying professional occupations – 16% compared to the UK average of 20%.

Combined, those factors mean Nottingham City households are more likely to fall within the “Ordinary Working Families” category than other areas. Indeed the East Midlands as a whole has a higher number of such households than the East, London, South-East and South-West of the country.

The research is the first of three phases in the Out of the Ordinary programme which will see Nottingham Civic Exchange address policy issues from a Nottingham perspective.

The Nottingham Civic Exchange team said: “This research matters to the lives of Ordinary Working Families. The voices of and lived experiences of people within these groups have to be enabled to shape the research and to support the development of ideas which can be translated into policy interventions which can have a positive impact upon their lives.”

Nottingham Civic Exchange’s analysis has also found that:

  • There are numerous areas across Nottingham where the average household income is not enough to support the purchase of an average home in the area – particularly in rural areas North of Newark and North East of Bingham.
  • There is a wealth disparity across the county of Nottinghamshire. A relatively large number of highly paid, highly skilled workers in Nottingham City live elsewhere and a lower proportion of residents are able to access or progress within the better paid and more highly skilled jobs within the city.
  • Nationally, the way people feel about their financial position defies income brackets with 40% of those households who felt they were “just getting by” actually earning over the threshold of £34,000 commonly used to determine “Ordinary Working Families.”

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of NTU, said the Out of the Ordinary programme provides an important exemplar of Nottingham Trent University engaging with the challenges and concerns of all of its fellow citizens. The University has established the think tank in partnership with the RSA, one of the country’s oldest yet most forward-looking centres for the analysis and formulation pf public policy.

“Nottingham Civic Exchange will explore a range of policy areas of importance to the people, communities and institutions of Nottingham. The exchange will draw on the expertise of University colleagues, the RSA and, of course, our own students to undertake its programme of work.”

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor

Chief Executive of the RSA, and head of the government review into modern employment, Matthew Taylor, said: “We are seeing increasing numbers of people, who despite being in full-time work, are struggling to get by. This important analysis from NCE highlights the need to create jobs that allow people to progress, enabling them to move from ‘just about managing’ to ‘managing’. The RSA’s partnership with NCE forms part of our ongoing commitment towards finding local solutions to people’s economic and social needs.”

Mr Taylor will be attending tonight’s launch event, at which the first stage of Nottingham Civic Exchange’s research will be unveiled. Two further phases of work will follow in the summer and autumn.

*Authors of the Out of the Ordinary: Exploring the lives of ordinary working families report were, Paula Black, Director of Nottingham Civic Exchange; Sarah Burton, Research Assistant at Nottingham Trent University; James Hunter, Principle Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University; Chris Lawton from Nottingham Trent University’s Economic Strategy Research Bureau; Rich Pickford, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer at Nottingham Civic Exchange and Daniel Wheatley, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Business School.

  • Notes for editors

    About Nottingham Civic Exchange

    • Nottingham Civic Exchange is the only university place-based think tank created to carry out original research designed to influence government policy affecting its region’s population.
    • Its research will be carried out with and by the communities in Nottinghamshire, helping to empower citizens.
    • NCE is a strategic partnership between Nottingham Trent University and the RSA designed to build on existing links between the two institutions and combine their long histories of civic engagement to increase the reach of NCE’s work and position it at the forefront of public debate.

    About Nottingham Trent University

    • Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 28,000 students and more than 3,500 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.
    • The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of the its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.
    • NTU is home to world-class research, winning The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.
    • With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

Nottingham Civic Exchange launch

Published on 15 June 2017
  • Category: Nottingham Civic Exchange; Press office; School of Social Sciences

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