City ranked high for workless households

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Liverpool was in the top five areas for workless households in the UK last year © Crown copyright 2013

Liverpool was in the top five areas for workless households in the UK last year © Crown copyright 2013

Liverpool was one of the top five places in the UK for ‘workless’ households in 2013, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The study showed that between January and December last year Liverpool had 27.2% of households, the fifth highest in the country, where no-one aged 16 or over was in employment.

Long-term and temporary sickness was highlighted as the main reason given for not working by people aged 16 to 64 living in workless households. Heavy industrialisation of an area is thought to be a contributing factor, according to the ONS.

The report said: “Liverpool had a large manufacturing base and one of the UK’s largest docks, which have both been in decline since the 1970s. Wolverhampton also saw a decline in its iron and steel works industry during the twentieth century.”

This is the tenth consecutive year that Liverpool has appeared in the review, with Glasgow being the only other location appearing as many times.

Both cities have appeared in every study since records began in 2004, with Liverpool topping the figures six times, most recently in 2011.

Nottingham was shown to have the highest percentage of workless households, with 30.1% of households having no members over 16 in employment.

The lowest percentages of workless households in the UK were located in the South East of England. West Sussex had the lowest percentage at 9%, followed by Surrey with 9.7%.

According to website Poverty.org.uk, the UK has a higher proportion of its working-age population in workless households than most other EU countries, with the exception of Ireland, Lithuania, Hungary, Belgium, Estonia and Bulgaria.

Despite this, figures have also shown that the number of workless households in the UK is falling, with the national average standing at 16.6% compared with 17.3% the previous year.

About Sophie Lockett, JMU Journalism