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Number Of Kids Living In Poverty In Working Households Reaches All-Time High

28/03/2011 09:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found the number of kids living in poverty in working households has risen to an all-time high.

The report has found that 2.1 million children live in impoverished conditions despite residing in homes where the parents or carers are in employment.

The Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion study claims that the overall number of children living in poverty fell to 3.7 million, and the foundation said the number of poverty-stricken children who live in workless households fell to 1.6 million - the lowest figure since 1984. But the children who come from working households account for 58 per cent of the total number of children living in poverty.

The report's co-author Tom MacInnes said: 'The fall in child poverty among those in out-of-work households came about despite an estimated rise of 60,000 in the number of children living in workless households over the year. So, we can almost certainly say that it is related to the rise in both Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit in 2008.

'Without the substantial increases in these benefits, the numbers of children in poverty would be around half a million higher.

With more than half of all children in poverty belonging to working families, it is simply not possible to base anti-poverty policies on the idea that work alone is a route out of poverty. Child poverty in working households must be given the same focus as out-of-work poverty. Until this happens, debates about poverty will continue to be misleading'.

The report also discovered that between 2008 and 2009, 13 million people were living in poverty in he UK, and that by mid-2010, the unemployment levels amongst 16-24-year-olds was at 20 per cent - the highest figure for 18 years, and three times that for other adults.

Co-author Anushree Parekh said: 'The high level of young adult unemployment has been a striking feature of this recession. One in five adults aged under 25 who are looking for work cannot find it. But young adult unemployment has been rising since 2004 - this is a long term, chronic problem.'

Chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Julia Unwin said: 'Although it is important to recognise the reduction in child and pensioner poverty over the last decade, the government now faces many challenges, not solely related to work and poverty. The large numbers of young adults with few or no qualifications, persistent health inequalities and the lack of access for poor families to essential services, all make reducing social exclusion much more difficult. Welfare reform alone is nowhere near enough.'

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