Could we be starting to see the first fruits of the coalition’s welfare reforms? The Office for National Statistics reported today that the number of workless households has fallen for the second year running. It found that just under 18 per cent of households have no adults in work, a fall of 0.8 percentage points from last year. Between April and June 2012 there were 3.7 million households in the UK where no-one was working, down 153,000.
Garyling and his colleague in the Work and Pensions department Iain Duncan Smith will also be buoyed by the news that the number of households where no adult has ever worked also fell by 26,000 from last year to 265,000. The overall number including student households is now 340,000: a fall of 22,000 on last year.
After all, Duncan Smith was inspired to start his campaign for welfare reform when he travelled to the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow 10 years ago and met families like these, where the parents had never held down a job. In 2002, there were 201,000 households where no-one had ever worked, excluding those made up of students. That peaked at 291,000 in 2011. Duncan Smith will be hoping those reforms that he started mulling over a decade ago will keep the numbers on a downward trajectory so that politicians meet fewer and fewer of these families over the coming years.Tags: Employment, Statistics, UK politics, Welfare reform