Economic Inactivity: What It Is and Why It Matters

economic inactivity housing associations

“Economic inactivity can have a far-reaching impact on communities and individuals, particularly on those without the skills and qualifications necessary to access decent jobs. We must ensure that those who are most at risk of inactivity are supported with the right education and training opportunities.” – Theresa May, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Economic inactivity is a term used to describe people who are not in work and not actively looking for work. However, many of these people might be open to returning to the labour market. It can arise due to a number of reasons, such as being a student, being retired or being unable to find work. Housing associations have a duty to support their tenants who are economically inactive, by providing opportunities for training and employment. In this blog post, we will explore the definition of economic inactivity, as well as the different ways housing associations can help their tenants become more active in the workforce.

1. Understanding Economic Inactivity:

Housing associations need to understand the implications of economic inactivity among their tenants. This includes understanding why some people are economically inactive, such as those people who left the workforce due to Covid or those who have exhausted all job prospects. Awareness of the different reasons behind economic inactivity can help housing associations offer better support and services for their tenants.

2. Employability Services:

Housing associations should provide employability services to help tenants become more active in the workforce. These services could include providing advice on job searching, training courses and interviews, mentoring and careers guidance. Due to the scale of this it could also include digital employability tools.

3. Education and Training Opportunities:

Housing associations should also provide educational opportunities for their tenants who may be looking to further their qualifications or training. This could involve providing training courses or apprenticeships, or providing access to distance learning programs.

4. Tenancy Support:

Housing associations should also provide tenants with support to help them manage their tenancies and resolve any issues that may be preventing them from becoming more active in the workforce. This could include tenancy advice and assistance with budgeting, as well as providing access to specialist services such as debt counselling if necessary

5. Mentoring:

Housing associations can offer mentoring services which are tailored to the individual needs of their tenants – this could involve providing guidance on job searching techniques, interview skills or career planning advice. By offering a supportive environment, housing associations can motivate and inspire their tenants to break out of economic inactivity and take the next steps towards employment


In conclusion, economic inactivity is a complex issue with many underlying causes. Housing associations have an important responsibility to provide employability services, educational opportunities and tenancy support for their tenants who may be economically inactive. By taking these steps, housing organisations can improve the lives of their tenants and help them become more actively involved in the workforce. Doing so can also contribute towards reducing poverty and deprivation levels within local communities. It is therefore essential that housing associations recognise their role in tackling economic inactivity and take steps to ensure they provide the necessary support services. Housing associations must also continue to develop strategies to tackle the underlying causes of economic inactivity, so that all tenants have equal opportunities to access employment. By doing so, housing organisations can help their tenants break out of poverty and deprivation and improve their quality of life.

In order to combat the high levels of economic inactivity, housing associations need to offer more than just a roof over someone’s head. They need to provide opportunities for their tenants to improve their skills and get back into work. And it’s not just about getting people back into paid employment. There are many benefits to being economically active, including improved mental and physical health. So what can you do to help your tenants become more economically active? Sign up for our free marketing toolkit and gain access to tips, templates and resources that will help you get started today.

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