Work remains the best route out of poverty and with employment at record levels there is much to be pleased about. But there is also much to be done.
Children in households where two adults are in full-time work only have a 1 per cent chance of being in financial poverty, compared with more than a 64 per cent chance for children in two-parent households where no adult works. If the head of a household is employed, this raises the chance of leaving financial poverty in that household by around 40 per cent and reduces the chance of re-entering financial poverty by around 50 per cent.
While some people claim that work is not always a route out of poverty, it is still the best and most reliable route that there is. Many people need more hours and better pay, but the alternative – a life on benefits – offers no such prospects. It is only by entering employment, finding more hours and progressively better positions, that people can work their way out of poverty. The evidence is clear that being unemployed and dependent on the welfare state for a significant period of time can have damaging and lasting implications.
If the head of a household is employed, this raises the chance of leaving financial poverty in that household by around 40%.