Belfast Telegraph

Number of workless homes here shows slight decrease

By Tom Moseley

The number of homes in Northern Ireland where no-one is working has fallen slightly, official figures show.

There are 121,000 'workless households' in the province, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday, making up 21.2% of the total.

This was down from 22% on the previous year.

But of all the UK regions, Northern Ireland had the lowest percentage of households where all adults were working, at just 47.6%.

And there are 12,000 Northern Ireland households where none of the adults had ever had a paid job, representing 2% of the total. The UK average was 1.8% of the population.

It was also revealed that more than 17% of Northern Ireland children, 65,000 youngsters, are living in homes where no adults are working.

Westminster ministers welcomed the figures, which showed a drop across the UK in workless households, but said the high numbers showed how many people had been "simply abandoned to a lifetime on benefits".

Conservative Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "While the slight fall is encouraging, these figures still underline the sheer scale of the challenge we face."