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Lechner, Reiter & Riesenfelder
Sozialforschung OG, Wien

Working poor in Vienna (Research, 2009-2011)

Against the backdrop of rising numbers of social welfare recipients in Vienna, this project wanted to light up the special situation of persons, who draw social welfare assistance along with an earned income. They were referred to as "working poor", since their occupation obviously does not ensure an income that secures one's livelihood - despite integration into empoyment they have to rely on the support of the basic social net of social welfare assistance.

The definition of "reception of social welfare benefit along with earned income" is not perfectly obvious, as especially the temporal dimension ought to be considered, and poverty ought to be conceived a process rather than a status. The scope of possible "working-poor" situations ranges from a one-day-overlap to a 100% coverage of benefit reception by earned income, it can comprise marginal employment to full time occupation, short-term to long-term or reoccurring reception, etc. Due to these various circumstances, the personal problems might differ, as well as the support needed. Hence, a review and typification of characteristic individual processes on basis of official data is a main objective of this study.

Furthermore we go into the indivual causes leading to "working-poor"-situations by a survey and look for approaches to support this group with regard to an enhancement of social security. In order to validate and expand the findings, expert interviews will be conducted.

Team: Andreas Riesenfelder, Ina Matt, Susanne Schmatz, Petra Wetzel

Client: Vienna Employment Fund (WAFF)

Status: finished



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