Glasgow has most workless households in UK, ONS figures show

Job Centre The workless household figures cover people aged between 16 and 64

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Glasgow has the highest percentage of workless households of any area in the UK, new figures have shown.

Information from the Office of National Statistics showed that 30.2% of Glasgow households had no-one aged between 16 and 64 in employment during 2012.

The city takes over from Liverpool, which slipped back one place at 28.7%.

Other top five areas include Kingston upon Hull (27.6%), Birmingham (27.4%) and Wolverhampton (27.3%). The national UK average is 18.1%.

National average figures for nations within the UK showed that England had the lowest number of workless households with 17.5%. It was also the only nation below the UK average.

Scotland came second with 20.6%, followed by Northern Ireland on 21.2% and Wales on 21.5%.

Orkney and Shetland

After Glasgow, the Scottish areas with the highest number of workless households were Clackmannanshire on 28.9%, North Ayrshire on 28% and Inverclyde and East Ayrshire, both on 25.5%.

The area of Scotland with the lowest number of workless households was Orkney with 7.4%, followed by Shetland on 8.2%, Moray on 12.5% and Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, both on 12.6%.

The figures emerged a week after the Office for National Statistics published data showing that the proportion of UK households was at its lowest since comparable records began in 1996.

The statistics showed there were 3.5 million such households in the UK between April and June this year, about 17.1% of all households containing a working age adult.

This was down from 3.7 million, or 17.9%, a year earlier.

Glasgow investment

The Scottish government's Finance Secretary, John Swinney said Scotland had a higher rate of households in work than the rest of the UK.

He also pointed to last month's ONS headline labour market figures, which "show that employment in Scotland is now at the highest level in more than four years".

Mr Swinney added: "We are investing in Glasgow - this year alone over £3m has been committed to helping people young people find work.

"The Commonwealth Games will also provide opportunities in the East End of Glasgow with 1,300 places for local people to participate in jobs schemes."

Labour's deputy finance spokeswoman, Jenny Marra, said low wages were part of the problem, as well as "people working less hours than they would like, short term contracts, and zero-hours contracts".

She said: "The Scottish government should be doing all they can to encourage employers to pay a living wage to their workforce".

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said the UK government was taking a number of steps to to create jobs and "make work pay".

"Our two governments need to work closely together to give people hope," he added.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone, who sits on Holyrood's welfare reform committee, said the Scottish government needed to do more to encourage labour mobility throughout Scotland.

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