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What has driven the rise of in-work poverty?

As a society we believe that working families should have a decent standard of living, yet one in eight workers now live in poverty. Building on recent successes in the labour market can turn the tide on in-work poverty.

Written by:
Dave Innes
Date published:

In recent years, the labour market has seen record employment rates and the introduction of the National Living Wage, but despite these positive developments more and more people in working families are living in poverty.

Over the last five years, in-work poverty has risen as reductions in benefit levels have left low-income families with little protection to cope with low growth in their earnings.

What you need to know

  • The rising proportion of workers being pulled into poverty is preventing record employment rates from helping those people escape poverty's grip.
  • Raising the minimum wage isn't a substitute for a decent social security system and action to reduce housing costs.
  • Alongside action to raise hourly pay, we need to enable people in low-income families to work as many hours as they would like to.
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