By Daniel Hunter

Young people and those in work are now at the greatest risk of poverty in the UK, according to a new report.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said there has been a big rise in the number of under 25s and those in work who were in poverty. In contrast, there has been a fall in the number of pensioners, who are traditionally the most at risk, in poverty.

But the government said poverty has fallen to its lowest level since 1980.

The report suggests that the rise in young and working people at risk of poverty comes following the "vast increase" in zero-hours contracts and low-paid self-employment. It estimates that there are currently 1.4 million zero-hours contracts in the UK.

It means that two thirds of people who left unemployment last year got a job that paid the Living Wage.

Average real-term hourly rates for men in full-time work dropped by £1 between 2008 and 2013 to £12.90. For women, there was a 50p fall in the same period.

The report also suggests that self-employed people are earning 13% less on average that five years ago.

"A comprehensive strategy is needed to tackle poverty in the UK," said Julia Unwin, chief executive of the JRF.

"It must tackle the root causes of poverty, such as low pay and the high cost of essentials."

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "The truth is, the percentage of people in the UK in relative poverty is at its lowest level since the mid-1980s.

"And the number of households where no one works is the lowest since records began."

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