ONS report presents figures on families in the labour market

10 December 2014

A report released on 9 December by the Office of National Statistics showed that the number of working families in the UK were at their highest in 2014 since records began. This increase has largely been amongst lone parent families with dependent children. Click hereto read the report in full.

However, it was also found that parents of young children were still almost twice as likely to be in employment if they were a couple than if they were lone parents. And that, ‘Young mothers (those aged 16 to 24) were around half as likely to be in employment (36.0%) as mothers aged 25 to 64 (71.6%) in 2014’.

The official data found that 87.7 per cent of families contained at least one person aged 16 or over who was in work. However, 2 million families remain workless in the UK and over half of these families have been out of work for three or more years.

The report also found that 12.5 per cent (1.7 million) of dependent children were living in workless households, which it also stated is a decrease compared with previous years.

Though as The Work Foundation has said, these figures ‘signal a favourable trajectory’, they do not account for the growing problem of in-work poverty which, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports, has been pervasive amongst working families in recent decades. According to a JRF Report from earlier this year ‘families where at least one adult is in work are now the largest group experiencing poverty in the UK’.