One in 10 UK adults have never had a paid job

Despite record employment figures, a report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found one in 10 UK adults have never done paid work, with students accounting for a large majority of the 3.6 million people.

The report released by ONS, showed the number of 16 – 64 year olds who have never had a paid job has increased by 270,000 since 2009. The results also showed that women were more likely to have never done paid work than men, particularly in older age groups.

Among non-students aged 25 to 64 years who had not had paid employment, the results found almost three quarters were female. The ONS found that this is partly because women are more likely to take on the bulk of childcare.

The top reasons for not working were found to be; looking after the family or home, studying full time, long term sick, or currently looking for work.

Lorna Davidson, Founder and CEO, of short-term recruitment specialists, RedWigWam, comments,

In this day and age there should be no reason for people not to be able to work flexibly around their lifestyle or be able to earn a wage on their own terms. Thousands of temporary jobs exist right now that that can fit around peoples’ lifestyle; whether it’s to have a better work-life balance, gain experience and extra money whilst they study or just build up that rainy day fund. Many jobs can be incorporated into peoples’ daily routine, school run, food shop and even completed from the comfort of their own home.  Long gone are the days of standard 9-5 jobs and it’s time society realised that the world of work needs to evolve to become more accessible to everyone.

Interested in the future of work? We recommend the Future of Work summit 2019.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.