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From BBC website: Workless households figure falls

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7583796.stm

"The number of households with no-one aged over 16 working has fallen slightly compared with a year ago, official statistics show.

Some 3.06 million households in the UK with working-age occupants did not have anyone in employment between April and June, down 15,000 on a year earlier.

But the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that the figure was 43,000 higher than five years ago.

The figures come after the ONS said the official unemployment rate had risen.

Youngsters

The number of people aged between 16 and retirement age living in these non-working households was 4.29 million in the second quarter of 2008.

This was down 126,000 from the same three months last year and up 50,000 from five years ago.

Some 1.77 million children live in these households, down 40,000 from the previous year and down 104,000 from five years ago.

Of these, 1.2 million - or 68% - were in lone-parent households."

Spinned as good news by the BBC, I notice. I think the number of households is about 23 million, but that will include a lot of households of pension age. Does anyone know how many working-age households there are in the UK?

I suspect we are looking at something like 15-18% of UK working-age households having no-one in work? Anyone else besides the BBC think this is great?

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From BBC website: Workless households figure falls

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7583796.stm

"The number of households with no-one aged over 16 working has fallen slightly compared with a year ago, official statistics show.

Some 3.06 million households in the UK with working-age occupants did not have anyone in employment between April and June, down 15,000 on a year earlier.

But the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that the figure was 43,000 higher than five years ago.

The figures come after the ONS said the official unemployment rate had risen.

Youngsters

The number of people aged between 16 and retirement age living in these non-working households was 4.29 million in the second quarter of 2008.

This was down 126,000 from the same three months last year and up 50,000 from five years ago.

Some 1.77 million children live in these households, down 40,000 from the previous year and down 104,000 from five years ago.

Of these, 1.2 million - or 68% - were in lone-parent households."

Spinned as good news by the BBC, I notice. I think the number of households is about 23 million, but that will include a lot of households of pension age. Does anyone know how many working-age households there are in the UK?

I suspect we are looking at something like 15-18% of UK working-age households having no-one in work? Anyone else besides the BBC think this is great?

I don't know but your figure of 15-18% in your last paragraph is rather similar to the number of young people estimated recently to be not in work, education or training (NEETS). A figure distinctly more than the government's panglossian 8%. They say the devil finds plenty of work for idle hands . . .

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The last few decades have NOT been good socially or economically for vast swathes of the country, despite what the media keep telling us. And these figures are based on the scene BEFORE the "credit crunch" and high oil prices have had much effect on employment.

As for NEETS, I'd previously seen a figure of 22%, but then after that we had this other figure of 8% from the Government. The true NEET percentage surely cannot be less than the percent of workless working-age households, which I estimate at 15% at least. It can only be more than that.

According to The Sun, the highest percent workless households is actually inner London at almost 25%, followed by the north-west at 21%. The UK percent workless households is given as 11%, but it is not clear if that is percent of working-age households, or percent of all households (ie including pensioners).

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My main interest in things like this is how it has changed over the last several decades. The headline employment rate of about 75% looks reassuringly high. I think this is being used to cover up the real truth though.

For one thing, how many of these jobs are part-time?

On the other hand, it is correct that in prevous generations it would have been quite normal for the female partner to give up work to raise the children.

I still think there is a social disaster going on, which is barely hinted at in the media. Certainly on the TV you would not think that about a quarter of young people are NEETs.

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  • 1 year later...
My main interest in things like this is how it has changed over the last several decades. The headline employment rate of about 75% looks reassuringly high. I think this is being used to cover up the real truth though.

For one thing, how many of these jobs are part-time?

On the other hand, it is correct that in prevous generations it would have been quite normal for the female partner to give up work to raise the children.

I still think there is a social disaster going on, which is barely hinted at in the media. Certainly on the TV you would not think that about a quarter of young people are NEETs.

Among the 25% are - the retired (early), students, mothers, fathers, sick.

It's not quite as bad as the right wing make out, therefore.

However...!

On the specific of workless households - 2 things you need to know.

One is that they are statistically much more likely in a 1-adult household - and these are on the rise and have been for many years.

Second is a historical perspective, which the Labour Force Survey gives us (the BBC give us the latest short term change - remind you of anything ???)

In 1979, there were 8% workless households in the UK.

By 1996, it had skyrocketed to 19%, rising pretty much constantly each year.

It has then fallen very gradually since then, until this year, to its current level of 17%.

Set against the demographics and on this narrow measure alone, it's actually *good*, if slight, progress.

Remarkable therefore that the Conservatives have made a scene about the figures, and utterly incompetent of the current govenment not to point out the quite shocking recent history (or if they did, i missed it).

Still, the UK if full of workshy idlers according to the Daily Mail (and Michael Portillo in the Times).

Oh, and on the next page, house prices are going up....

A historical perspective is essential always - not just in the case of house prices.

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