Hartlepool has one of the lowest proportions of working households in UK

Less than half of households in Hartlepool have all occupants in work, according to official figures – one of the lowest rates in the UK.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 4:08 pm
New figures reveal the number of household occupants working. Picture Gareth Fuller/PA Archive
New figures reveal the number of household occupants working. Picture Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

But with working households now accounting for a greater share of UK homes, employment experts have hailed the increase as proof of the labour market's "resilience".

The Office for National Statistics data shows 12.5 million households, 60% of overall homes, had all working age occupants aged 16 or over in employment in the three months to September 2019.

The latest figures for Hartlepool – which cover 2018 – showed that 13,700 households were classed as working in the area, 46% of all homes.

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Across the North East, 54% of households were classed as working that year, compared to the UK-wide average of 58%.

Commenting on the increase in working households nationwide, Matt Weston, managing director of recruiters Robert Half, said: "The growing number of households with at least one adult in employment is a clear mark of the continued resilience of the UK labour market.

"As the demand for skilled talent continues to rise above supply, businesses are prioritising the need to offer greater flexibility and work-life balance to attract the right skills.

"This includes exploring flexible schedules, remote working, job sharing and part-time roles."

The number of households in which no adults were in work fell to a record low across the country in the three months to September, at 2.8 million, or 13.5% of UK homes.

A further 5.6 million (26.9%) had a mix of at least one working and one workless adult.

Laura Gardiner, research director at the Resolution Foundation, welcomed the figures.

She said: "This hasn't happened by chance – it's the result of concerted policy action from successive governments, and shows that properly targeted policies can make a difference.

"However, while worklessness is no longer the poverty scourge it once was, an increasing number of children in working households are living in poverty."

Tackling this "new poverty" challenge should be the Government's priority, she added.