The percentage of all households that contain at least one person aged 16 to 64 that had no members in work stood at 17.1% in April to June 2013. This is down from 17.9% in the same period a year earlier and from 19.2% in April to June 2010. It is the lowest percentage since comparable records began in 1996.
This 17.1% accounted for 3.5 million households and was a fall of 182,000 on the number in the UK in April to June 2012.
This fall in the number of workless households was partly due to some workless households moving from containing at least one person aged 16-64 to containing all people aged 65 and over and therefore not being included in the analysis.
Households where no one has ever worked continues to fall from 2011 peak
Households where no one has ever worked make up a specific section of workless households but the number of these households has seen a continued fall since its peak in 2011. In 2013 there were 297,000 households where no one had ever worked containing 500,000 people. Nearly half, or 48% of these people were students and a further 18% were sick or disabled. The remainder either stated they were looking after the family or home (14%), unemployed (10%) or other reasons (10%).
Households containing lone parents with dependent children have highest chance of being workless.
Just over one third or 36% of households that contained lone parents with dependent children were workless in April to June 2013, which contrasts with 5% of households that contained couples with dependent children.
Looking at households that had only non-dependent or no children, around one third or 33% of households containing just one person were workless (these are mainly sick or disabled people), followed by 21% of lone parent households and 12% of couple households.
The number of people in workless households falls below 5 million for the first time since 2008
The number of people in workless households who are aged between 16 and 64 fell to 4.9 million in April to June 2013. This is a fall of 132,000 on the year and means that the number of 16 to 64 year olds living in workless households was below 5 million for the first time since April to June 2008.
These 4.9 million people were largely aged 50 to 64 and the fall of 132,000 on the year was mainly down to a fall of 124,000 in the number of 50 to 64 year olds who were living in workless households. In contrast there was a 15,000 increase in the number of 16 to 24 year olds who were living in workless households.
The most common reason people aged 16 to 64 in workless households gave for not being in work was being sick or disabled, with 28% of them stating this in April to June 2013. This was followed by unemployment (21%) early retirement (17%) looking after the family or home (15%) and study (13%). The remainder stated various other reasons.
The percentage of children in workless households falls to the lowest since 1996
In 1996 when comparable records began, one in every five children, or 20%, were living in workless households, this fell to 14% in 2013 which is the lowest since 1996. This percentage has fallen in the last few years following an increase during the recent economic downturn.
However there were still 1.6 million children growing up in households where nobody was in work and most of these children, or 65%, were living in households with just one parent.
Estimates only cover households that contain at least one person aged 16 to 64.
A household is defined as a single person, or a group of people living at the same address who have the address as their only or main residence and either share one main meal a day or share living accommodation (or both).
A working household is a household that contains at least one person aged 16 to 64, where all individuals aged 16 and over are in employment.
A mixed household is a household that contains at least one person aged 16 to 64, where at least one person aged 16 and over is in employment and at least one other is either unemployed or inactive.
A workless household is a household that contains at least one person aged 16 to 64, where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment.
Children refer to all children under 16.
Dependent children are children aged under 16 and those aged 16 to 18 who have never married and are in full-time education.
Other household types refer to households which contain two or more family units, or two or more people belonging to separate family units.
A household is defined as having never worked if all members aged 16 years or more are currently not in employment and state that they have never had paid work (apart from casual or holiday work, or the job that they are waiting to begin)
Student households are households where all adults are aged 16-24 and in education. Excludes households where all members are in education but some members are aged 25 years or more.