Poverty soars among working households

The links between poverty and job insecurity are highlighted in an annual monitoring report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It estimates that 6.1 million people in working households are now living in poverty – a number that exceeds the 5.1 million people in workless households in poverty.

Key findings

  • 3.3 million working families receive working tax credits – up by 50 per cent since 2003.
  • 4.4 million jobs pay less than £7 an hour.
  • Underemployment – the number of people not able to get the amount of paid work they want – stands at 6.5 million. 1.4 million people are working part time but want full-time work – up by 500,000 since 2009.
  • Almost 5 million people have claimed jobseeker's allowance (JSA) at least once in the last two years – around one in six of economically active people.
  • The turnover of people moving on and off JSA is substantial: 42 per cent of claims are made within six months of the previous claim.
  • Although 18 per cent of people are on a low income at any one time, 33 per cent experience at least one period of low income over a four-year period, and 11 per cent are on a low income for more than half that time.

Source: Hannah Aldridge, Peter Kenway, Tom MacInnes and Anushree Parekh, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2012, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
LinksReport | Summary | JRF press release | NPI blog post | Guardian report

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