Working and workless households, 2012: statistical bulletin

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
Date of publication
29 August 2012
Statistical bulletin
Employment, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This bulletin is concerned with working, workless and mixed households in the UK for the period April to June in each year. Working households are households where all members aged 16 or over are employed. Workless households are households where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment. These members may be unemployed or inactive. Inactive members may be unavailable to work because of family commitments, retirement or study, or unable to work through sickness or disability. Mixed households contain both working and non-working members.

In April to June 2012 there were 3.7 million UK households with at least one member aged 16 to 64 where no-one was currently working. This represented 17.9 per cent of households, a fall of 0.8 per cent, or 153,000 households, on a year earlier. In all, 1.8 million children lived in these households, as did 5 million people aged 16-64. As well as a fall in workless households there was also a fall of 36,000 in working households. In April to June 2012 there were 10.9 million such households, representing 53 per cent of all households. There was a rise of 246,000 in mixed households, with the number standing at 5.97 million, or 29.1 per cent of the total.

Over the past 15 years there has been a fall in the percentage of lone parent households with dependent children that are workless from 51.9 per cent in 1996 to 37.0 per cent in 2012. Comparing lone parents and couple households, the latter have a much lower chance of being a workless household. In 2012 around 4.9 per cent of couple households with dependent children were workless, much lower than the 37.0 per cent for lone parent households, reflecting the ability for couple households to share childcare responsibilities.

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