Report: Most people in poverty have jobs

Contrary to conservative myths, hard work is no promise of escape from poverty

Published December 8, 2013 5:33PM (EST)


A new report in the U.K. decimates the tired right-wing myth that poor people are in poverty because they don't work. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that there are more working families living in poverty in Britain than non-working ones. 6.7 million working families live below the poverty line and half of working families in poverty have an adult paid below the living wage.

The foundation's executive director, Julia Unwin, commented: "Hard work is not working. We have a labour market that lacks pay and protection, with jobs offering precious little security and paltry wages that are insufficient to make ends meet."

The findings come at a time when the Conservative-led government is gradually weakening Britain welfare state to a threadbare safety net, like that of the U.S.

Via HuffPo U.K.:

The largest group in poverty are working age adults without dependent children - 4.7 million people are in this situation, the highest on record.

There have also been major shifts in which groups are experiencing poverty, with the number of pensioners in poverty
at a 30-year low.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Employment Minimun Wage Poor Poverty U.k. Unemployment Work