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Fewer children living in workless household

Published 27/09/2016

The number of children living in a household where no-one works has fallen to around one in eight since the start of the decade
The number of children living in a household where no-one works has fallen to around one in eight since the start of the decade

The number of children living in out-of-work families has fallen by an average of a quarter since the start of the decade.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around one in eight (12%) children lived in a workless household in 2015, down from roughly one in six (17%) in 2010.

The trend has not been uniform across the country, however.

A few areas have seen a rise, the largest being Doncaster in South Yorkshire, where the number has jumped by almost a third.

Stockton-on-Tees (up 26%), North Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire in Scotland (both up 14%) and Bridgend in South Wales (up 9%) also saw increases.

Northern Ireland was the only nation or region in the UK to report a rise (1%).

London has seen the biggest decrease, where the number of children in a workless household has almost halved (down 46%) since 2010.

The figures also reveal which local areas of the country currently have the greatest percentage of children living with out-of-work families.

North Ayrshire in Scotland tops the list with 31.1%.

Middlesbrough is second (28.2%), followed by Westminster in London (27.4%), East Lindsey in Lincolnshire (26.7%) and Liverpool (26.4%).

Wokingham in Berkshire has the smallest number - just 1.8%.

The ONS defines a workless household as one where no-one aged 16 and over is in employment.

This could be because people are unemployed or unavailable to work due to retirement, family commitments or study.

According to the ONS, the most common reason for worklessness is sickness or disability.

A total of 3.1 million households in the UK are currently classed as workless - a drop of almost a million since 2010.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: "We're absolutely committed to building a country that works for everybody and the fact that the number of workless households has continued to fall shows that we're making real progress.

"Welfare reforms like the benefit cap and universal credit are helping people to take control of their own lives and are incentivising work.

"With a record 31.77 million people in employment and more than 750,000 vacancies at any one time, there are no shortages of opportunities out there."

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