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U.K. working families on the poverty line more often than the unemployed, charity reports

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A report issued by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that there are more working U.K. citizens below the poverty line than those that are unemployed due to low pay and part-time work trends.

As  reported by the BBC, the charity says that more households were living in poverty in 2012 than non-working families for the first time ever recorded. The report (.pdf) says that just over half of the 13 million people living below the poverty line were employed, but live on less than 60 percent of the national median wage.

The JRF's annual Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion report, written by the New Policy Institute, said that low pay, zero-contract hours, part-time work and a lack of job security have all contributed to a fall in living standards.

In the 2011-2012 period, the report says earnings for a single adult within poverty was £128 per week, £172 for a single parent, £220 for a couple with no children, and £357 for a family with two children.

However, both child poverty and the income of pensioners has increased.

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of JRF told the publication:
"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.
While a recovery may be gathering momentum in the statistics and official forecasts, for those at the bottom, improving pay and prospects remain a mirage."

By comparing Department for Work and Pensions figures, the charity's researchers said that working adults without children were most likely to be living in poverty, with the average income falling by eight percent in the last five years.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said:

"Despite claims to the contrary, work absolutely remains the best route out poverty -- children in workless families are around three times more likely to be in poverty than those in working families."

Via: BBC 

Image credit: Flickr

— By on December 9, 2013, 9:38 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure