News story

Workless households fall by more than three-quarters of a million since 2010

The number of households where no one works has fallen by more than 750,000 since 2010 and is now at its lowest level in more than 10 years.


According to new independent figures released today (30 March 2016), there are now 764,000 fewer workless households in this country compared to 5 years ago – a fall of 20%.

The figures also show there are 449,000 fewer children living in workless households.

And the number of households where no one has ever worked is down by 36,000 – a fall of 10% since 2010.

Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said:

Our economic and welfare reforms are helping to turn around the lives of hundreds of thousands of families up and down the country who were previously overlooked.

Reforms this government has put in place such as Universal Credit, the Claimant Commitment and the benefit cap and are paying off, supporting a record 31 million people in work, with the unemployment rate also at a 10-year low.

There are now nearly half a million fewer children living in households where no one works; where they can see one or both their parents benefitting from the dignity of a job and the security that a pay cheque brings.

Employment figures published earlier this month showed that there are 2.37 million more people in work now compared with 2010 – an average increase of more than 1,000 people in work every single day.

The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits has also fallen to its lowest level since 1975, and there are now around 770,000 vacancies available in the economy at any one time.

The government’s welfare reforms are returning fairness to the benefit system and encouraging people who are able to work to do just that. They include:

  • the benefit cap, which ensures that families don’t receive more in benefits than the average family earns
  • Universal Credit, the biggest change to the welfare system in a generation
  • the Claimant Commitment, which spells out what we expect from jobseekers when they search for work
  • the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which helps people on benefits to become their own boss
  • the Work Programme, which has so far helped more than 503,000 people escape long-term unemployment

Read the working and workless household figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release: 0203 267 5134

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street


Follow DWP on:

Published 30 March 2016