Business

Workless figures show North-South divide getting starker

street in Liverpool Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Liverpool consistently has the highest number of workless households

Figures on the concentration of workless households in the UK suggest that the North-South divide may be getting even more stark.

The data - from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - analysed homes where no adult is in work.

The 10 places with the highest number of such homes are all north of a line from the Severn to the Wash.

By contrast, the 10 areas with the lowest concentration of workless households are south of Oxfordshire.

Liverpool continues to have the biggest problem. In 2015, 28.8% of homes in the city had no one in work.

North East England, South Wales and parts of Scotland are also amongst the most deprived areas of the UK on this measure.

Areas with highest concentration of workless households (average 2011- 2015)
Area % Workless households in 2015
Liverpool 28.8%
Middlesbrough 23.9%
Glasgow 25.4%
Hartlepool 27.4%
Blaenau Gwent 23.6%
Wolverhampton 24.4%
North Ayrshire 27%
West Dunbartonshire 25.1%
Manchester 22.7%
Nottingham 22.4%
source: ONS

However, the total number of workless households has been falling, in line with lower unemployment.

The figures are now at a record low in all regions of the UK, except for Yorkshire & Humberside, London and the South West.

"The fact that the number of workless households has continued to fall shows that we're making real progress," said employment minister Damian Hinds.

On average, Windsor and Maidenhead was the area with the lowest concentration of workless households between 2011 and 2015.

Last year, just 7.3% of homes there had no adult in work.

"In 2015, the areas with the highest percentage of workless households were generally located outside of the south of England," the ONS reported.

"However, not all locations outside of the south of England had high percentages of workless households: 13 of the 50 areas with the lowest in 2015 were in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and the north of England," it said.

Areas with the lowest concentration of workless households ( average 2011 - 2015)
Area % Workless households in 2015
Windsor and Maidenhead 7.3%
West Berkshire 8.6%
Wokingham 7.3%
Merton 7.7%
Buckinghamshire 9.2%
Richmond on Thames 6.6%
Hertfordshire 8%
Bracknell Forest 7.7%
South Gloucestershire 9.1%
Oxfordshire 10.2%
source: ONS

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