Number of working poor has risen by 60% this century
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Number of working poor has risen by 60% this century

A food bank in Amsterdam. Photo: Pascal Maramis via Flickr. A food bank in Amsterdam. Photo: Pascal Maramis via Flickr.

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of people classed as working poor has increased by 60% since the turn of the century, government researchers have found.

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) said in a report published on Wednesday that 320,000 people lived below the poverty line even though they had a job.

The figure in 2001 was 210,000. The main cause for the increase was low wage growth during the period. The risk of working poverty was highest among single people, freelancers and those with a migrant background, particularly Turkish or Moroccan migrants.

Compared to other European countries the Netherlands still has a relatively low rate of working poverty, at 5.3%. Belgium (4.3%) and Denmark (3.5%) are among the countries with a better record, while in the UK one in eight (12.4%) is classed as working poor.

The SCP defined the poverty line in 2014 as an income of less than €1,063 per month for a single person, €1,610 for a single parent with two children and €2,000 for a couple with two children.

The figure represents the basic income level needed to cover housing, food, clothing and insurance, plus a small amount for personal and social activities. (DutchNews)

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