What is behind the rise of the working poor? As James Plunkett says, it makes for a lousy whodunit. No single factor is to blame. Much as you might want to point the finger at the government, at least some of the evidence shows that these are long-term trends that have been gathering pace for a while. The recession and the stagnation which followed simply gave them a boost. In-work poverty started increasing before the recession and it looks as though it will continue long into the recovery.
It seems that our economy and, to be fair, those of a number of other western countries, can no longer create enough jobs that pay well enough to keep people off benefits. The stereotype of the work-shy dole scrounger is out of date. These days, someone poor and on benefits is more likely to come from one of those hardworking families the government keeps telling us about.