Two-thirds of people who found work in the past year have taken jobs for less than the living wage, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Overall 22% of workers earn less than the living wage. The foundation reports during the last decade only a fifth of low-paid workers managed to move to better paid jobs.
As many people from working families are now in poverty as from workless ones.
The Trussell Trust reports that record numbers are resorting to food banks. Almost 500,000 adults and children were given three days’ food in the first six months of the current financial year — it was 355,982 for the same period last year.
Most sought help because of delays or problems with benefit payments. But a growing number, over a fifth, did so just because of low family income.
Trussell Trust chief David McAuley says that families are “living on a financial knife-edge where one small change in circumstances or a life shock can force them into a crisis where they cannot afford to eat.”