More than one in five North East children living in workless households

The proportion of children living in workless households in the North East has jumped by 2.6% in a year and is now almost 75% above the rate in the next highest regions of the UK.

Figures published today by the Office for National Statistics for January-March this year show there were 120,000 children in the region in workless household with at least one member aged 16-64.

The proportion of children in this situation in the North East stood at 22.7%, which was down from 24.2% in the previous quarter but up on a year earlier from 20.1%.

The next highest rates in the UK were in the North West and Wales, both with 13%.

The North East has a long-standing problem of children living in workless households. In 1996 the figure was as high as 26.7%, though at that time it was exceeded by Inner London with 34.7%.

Since then the North East figure has fallen and risen erratically, reaching a low point of 12.3% in 2017. The Inner London figure, while also somewhat erratic, has fallen quite steeply overall to reach 9.3% in the first quarter of 2022. The UK figure has fallen from 19.8% to 9.9%.

While the North East’s proportion of children in workless households changed from 26.7% in 1996 to 22.7% at the start of 2022, the region’s employment rate rose from 64.4% to 70.9%.