Employment high for single parents but work still not providing a route out of poverty for many

Posted 6 October 2015

Gingerbread responds to new figures showing records high in single parent employment.

Responding to today’s Office of National Statistics figures into Working and Workless Households 2015 Chief Executive Fiona Weir said: “Once again it is inspiring to see that despite the difficulty of juggling work with raising children on your own, 64.4% of single parents are in employment [1].

“However, despite the rise, single parent families remain nearly twice as likely to be in poverty as those in couple parent families [2]; 20 per cent of single parents working full time earn so little they are still raising their children in poverty, and more than a quarter of children in working single parent families were in poverty in 2014 [3]. So although more single parents are working, the likelihood that they are working and bringing their family up in poverty remains persistently high.

“And this situation is set to become even more precarious if the government presses ahead with its cuts to tax credits, which are a lifeline to many single parents who struggle to make ends meet.

“Once again we urge the government to reconsider its plans to cut tax credits, which will put further barriers in place for single parents trying to earn a living, and stand by its commitment to ensuring that being in work pays.”

Notes to editors
[1] Highest single parent employment rate since records began. ONS, Working and Workless Households, 2015

[2] DWP (2015) Households below average income, 1994/95-2013/14. Table 4.14ts

[3] DWP (2015) Households below average income, 1994/95-2013/14

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