Rise in working households in West Lothian and Falkirk council areas

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Around 34,000 households in West Lothian and 32,000 households in Falkirk have all occupants in work, according to official figures.

Office for National Statistics data shows working households now account for a greater share of UK homes, an increase hailed as proof of the labour market’s “resilience”. Some 12.5 million households, 60 per cent 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 West Lothian – which cover 2018 – showed 58 per cent of the area’s homes were classed as working, in line with the UK and Scotland averages that year.

In the Falkirk Council area 61 per cent of the area’s homes were classed as working, higher than the UK and Scotland averages.

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 per cent of UK homes. A further 5.6 million (26.9 per cent) 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.