North East Devolution and Levelling Up
Penshaw Monument

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%.