40% of British families ‘too poor to play a part in society’

8 million lacking required income level, says charity, as rising figure reflects cost of living and benefit cuts

Nearly four out of 10 households with children, or 8.1 million people, live below an income level regarded by the public as the minimum needed to participate in society, according to new research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The number of those on less than the so-called minimum income threshold in 2012/13 was up by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09, the charity says.

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Despite good news on the unemployment rate, the fight for jobs is as tough as ever

The reality is that it’s now harder to get a job than any time in the past decade – even harder than during the GFC – job vacancy figures show

Last week the fall in the unemployment rate brought some good economic news but, as always seems to be the case, it was tempered by the quarterly vacancy figures which shows life is pretty tough out there now for those looking for work – indeed as tough as it has been for more than a decade.

The labour force figures released last Thursday by the Bureau of Statistics showed that the unemployment rate was steady at 6.2% in trend terms but had unexpectedly fallen in the more volatile seasonally adjusted measure to 6.1%:

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