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Change in household work status over time

Key points

  • The proportion of people in workless households has decreased: falling from around 15%-18% in the late 1990s to now under 10%.
  • Before the recession around half of people in London were in households where all adults worked but this has fallen to 45% in 2014.
  • The proportion of people in mixed working households in London (at 47%) is higher than the England average (at 38%).

Change in household work status over time

What does this graph show?

This graph shows how household work status has changed over time in London (excluding pensioner-only households). From a poverty perspective, it is good that the proportion of people in workless households has decreased: falling from around 15%-18% in the late 1990s to now under 10%. In terms of numbers, there were on average 710,000 people in workless households in the late 1990s, compared to 635,000 on average between 2010 and 2014. There has also been a growth in households where some but not all adults work. Between the 1990s and 2007, people in these households made up around 35% to 38% of the total. However, since the recession, these have grown considerably and in recent years people in these households account for almost half of the total. This is significant as these households are more likely to be susceptible to in-work poverty, with one person's earnings spread across two adults and any children. There were 2.7 million people in these households in 2014, up by around one million compared with 15 years previous.

Before the recession around half of people in London were in households where all adults worked but this has fallen to 45% in 2014. This proportion is also lower than the England average of 51%. But the proportion of people in mixed working households in London (at 47%) was higher than the England average (at 38%).

Data used

Working and Workless Households, ONS.

Indicator last updated: 16 October 2015