The total number of workers in poverty has gone up over the last 20 years from 2.3 million workers in 1996/97 to 3.7 million workers in 2015/16. Of these 3.7 million workers in poverty, 1.7 million are full-time employees, 1.1 million are part-time employees and 0.9 million are self-employed workers. Just under half of workers in poverty in 2015/16 are full-time employees.
Despite improvements in pay for those on the lowest wages, low pay remains endemic in the UK’s economy. Once in a low-paid job it is difficult for many workers to move to a better paid one. Poverty and low pay do not always go together – the vast majority of low-paid workers live in households where the income of the people they live with (such as a partner or parents) mean they are not in poverty.JRF Report