Fall in proportion of South Lanarkshire households in work

Fewer South Lanarkshire households had all adults in work last year, figures show.

File photo dated 17/02/16 of a Job Centre Plus in London. The number of UK workers on company payrolls has surged by more than 120,000 above pre-pandemic levels after a record jump in September as vacancies remained above a million for the second month running, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of payrolled workers rose by 207,000 between August and September to a record 29.2 million. Issue date: Sunday September 5, 2021.

Fewer South Lanarkshire households had all adults in work last year, figures show.

The Institute for Public Policy Research criticised the country's social safety net, as the proportion of working UK households dropped for the first time in nearly a decade.

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Office for National Statistics data shows 62,711 households in South Lanarkshire had all working age occupants aged 16 or over in employment in 2020 – 60.4% of all those in the area.

This was down from 62% the year before.

There were also 18,365 households in the area with no adults in work, which at 17.7%, was up from 15.5% in 2019.

Meanwhile, the proportion of mixed households – with at least one working and one workless adult – decreased from 22.7% to 21.9% over this period.

Across Scotland, 57.7% of households were classed as working in 2020, below the UK-wide average of 58.4%.

The proportion of UK working households was down from 58.8% in 2019 – the first annual fall since 2011.

The IPPR said the furlough scheme helped prevent further unemployment last year, but the number of workless households will almost certainly rise this year as it ends.

Henry Parkes, senior economist at the think tank, added: "The UK social safety net is truly threadbare for workless families without other incomes.

"We have just seen the biggest overnight cut to the welfare state in its history, in the form of the end to the £20 uplift in universal credit.

"This has come at a time of potentially spiralling food and fuel prices alongside chronic insecurity brought about the pandemic as we head into an uncertain winter. The end to furlough and other support schemes will not help matters."

He called on the Government to restore the £20 uplift, as well as helping people back to work in other ways, including supporting more freely available childcare.

The ONS figures showed there were 2.9 million workless households in the UK last year – containing around 1.3 million children.

In South Lanarkshire, there were 11,448 children in households where no adult had a job last year​ – up from 6,609 in 2019.

The Trades Union Congress said Universal Credit support for families who have lost work is not enough to meet basic costs and called for the recent cut to be reversed.

However, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady added: “The rise in unemployment could have been far worse. But millions of families were protected thanks to government, business and unions working together to put in place furlough and other protections."

A Government spokesman said its Plan for Jobs is connecting jobseekers across the country to a record number of vacancies.

He added: “Universal Credit continues to deliver vital support for those both in and out of work and we have provided an additional £500 million to help the most vulnerable with essential costs this winter.”