In-work poverty in the EU

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Publication Date 2017
ISBN 978-92-897-1603-1
EC TJ-01-17-772-EN-N
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The ‘working poor’ are a substantial group, the latest estimate putting 10% of European workers at risk of poverty, up from 8% in 2007. This report describes the development of in-work poverty in the EU since the crisis of 2008, picking up where an earlier Eurofound report on this subject, published in 2010, ended and looks at what countries have done to combat the problem since.

This endeavour is complicated by the policy focus on employment as a route out of poverty, underplaying the considerable financial, social and personal difficulties experienced by the working poor. The increase in non-standard forms of employment in many countries appears to have contributed to rising in-work poverty. The report argues the case for greater policy attention and action on the part of governments, employers and social partners, not only through direct measures associated with both the minimum and living wage, progressive taxation, in-work benefits and social assistance, but also and more importantly through indirect measures such as more flexible working arrangements, housing, upgrading of skills and childcare.

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