Adults who have never done paid work

Adults never having done paid work

According to figures released by the ONS, there are currently some 3.6 million adults out of a total of 41 million adults in the UK who have never been gainfully employed.

Young adults, between 16 and 24, represent the largest group – which includes students – but, even allowing for those in full-time study, ‘never have done paid work’ appears much more likely if you are under 30. The figures represent an increase of over a quarter of a million since 2008.

The ONS visualisation below provides some clarity regarding who makes up the 3.6 million who have never done paid work.

A rise on long-term sickness has also contributed to the overall rise. On the other hand, the number of women who have never done paid work has fallen by around 20% since 2008 – indeed, among the 16 – 19 group, males are more likely to have never worked, although from the age of 25 onwards, the proportion of women who have never worked exceeds that of males. For example, in the 35 to 39 year age group, around 78% of those never doing paid work are women.