Workless households in UK now lowest in a decade: 600,000 fewer since 2010


The number of households where no one works has fallen by more than 600,000 since 2010, bringing the level to the lowest in a decade, new independent figures released today (24 March 2015) show.

The Office for National Statistics figures also show that compared with 2010:

  • 372,000 fewer children are living in a household where no-one has a job (3.5 percentage point drop)
  • the number of households where no one has ever worked is down by 30,000
  • 633,000 more households have a least one working adult
  • workless households in both the private and social rented sector have fallen, with social rented sector having fallen by 272, 000

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

The primary aim of our welfare reforms has been to support everyone who is able to work into jobs. To give people the skills as well as the opportunities to be part of the economic recovery. And we’ve seen remarkable success – with an average of 1,000 more people in work for every single day that this government has been in power. In total, 1.9 million more people with the self-esteem and financial security that a job brings.

Today’s figures reveal that the number of workless households has fallen by over 600,000 under this government. Most significantly, there are 272,000 fewer households living in social housing without work – and the proportion in social housing where someone does now work, with a breadwinner and a role model, is the highest since records began.

Behind these figures are countless stories of hard work and determination. By sticking to our long-term economic plan our welfare reforms are transforming the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities.

The employment rate for lone parents is at the highest it has been for 10 years, up 7.3% since 2010 to 63.5%. This means there are 150,000 more lone parents in work.

Today’s statistics follow on from last week’s figures showing record private sector employment, record vacancies and a new record employment rate.

There has been an average of 1,000 more people in work every single day since 2010, with 2.3 million more people in private sector jobs over the same period.

There are also around 735,000 vacancies available in the economy at any one time.

The government’s welfare reforms are returning fairness to the benefit system and encouraging people who are able to, to move into work. They include:

  • the benefit cap, which ensures that families don’t receive more in benefits than the average family earns
  • Universal Credit, the biggest change to the welfare system in a generation
  • the Claimant Commitment which spells out what we expect from jobseekers when they search for work
  • the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme, which helps people on benefits to become their own boss
  • the Work Programme, which has so far helped more than 400,000 people escape long-term unemployment


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