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Nearly 10% of Adults Have Never Done Paid Work
March 5, 2019

While UK employment is at record levels, there are still millions of people across the country who have never had a paid job reports the Office of National StatisticsOffice for National Statistics.

Around 3.6 million adults in the UK have never been paid for work, analysis has shown.

Of more than 41 million 16- to 64-year-olds in the UK, 75% were employed in July 2017 to June 2018, but there were still nearly 10% who had never done paid work.

Young people aged 16 to 24 years represent most of the population who have never had a paid job – 71% including students. Even excluding those in full-time study, more than half of people who have never carried out paid work are aged under 30 years (52%).

Almost 3.6 million adults aged between 16 and 64 years have never done paid work.

The number of people who have never had a paid job has grown by 270,000 in the last 10 years, from 3.3 million in 2008. This is mostly driven by a 230,000 increase in people who are studying and have yet to do paid work.

Young people who have never done paid work are more likely to stay in full-time education and less likely to be seeking work than they were 10 years ago.

Since 2008, there has been a 15% increase in the number of 16- to 24-year-olds who are studying and yet to do paid work, which has coincided with a 28% fall in those outside full-time education who are unemployed and have never had a paid job.

There has also been a significant rise in the number of long-term sick who have never carried out paid work. This group, many of who report having a disability which restricts their day-to-day activities, has expanded by 23% (around 75,000) in the last 10 years.

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