MORE Braintree households had all adults in work last year, despite the first fall across the UK in nearly a decade.

Office for National Statistics data shows 37,289 households in the Braintree district had all working age occupants aged 16 or over in employment in 2020 – 76.8 per cent of all those in the area.

This was up from 65 per cent the year before.

Across England, 58.7 per cent of households were classed as working in 2020.

The proportion of UK working households was down from 58.8 per cent in 2019 – the first annual fall since 2011.

The Institute for Public Policy Research criticised the country's social safety net and said the end of coronavirus support measures will only make matters harder for workless families.

Henry Parkes, senior economist at the think tank, said: "The UK social safety net is truly threadbare for workless families without other incomes.

"We have just seen the biggest overnight cut to the welfare state in its history, in the form of the end to the £20 uplift in universal credit.

"This has come at a time of potentially spiralling food and fuel prices alongside chronic insecurity brought about the pandemic as we head into an uncertain winter. The end to furlough and other support schemes will not help matters."

He called on the Government to restore the £20 uplift, as well as helping people back to work in other ways, including supporting more freely available childcare.

A Government spokesman said its Plan for Jobs is connecting jobseekers across the country to a record number of vacancies.

He added: “Universal Credit continues to deliver vital support for those both in and out of work and we have provided an additional £500 million to help the most vulnerable with essential costs this winter.”