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Liverpool has the highest number of workless households in the UK

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In 2010, there were three areas across the UK where more than three out of every 10 households had no one in work, according to new sub-regional data on working and workless households published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics.

These were Liverpool (32%), Nottingham (32%), and Glasgow City (31%).

This was the second consecutive year that these three areas had the highest percentage of workless households, although for Liverpool and Glasgow City the percentage fell, from 32% and 31% respectively. In Nottingham the percentage of workless households increased from 31%.

Over the seven years since 2004 that data is available, Liverpool has had the highest percentage of workless households in five of the years, with it being in the top three in the other two years.

There were differences in the reasons why members of workless households in the top three said they were not working. Being sick or disabled (at 28%) was the main reason for such people nationally to not be in work, and this was also the percentage in Liverpool, while 33% gave this reason in Glasgow. However in Nottingham, partly because of its multiple universities, 43% of people in workless households gave study as their reason, compared with 12% nationally.

The areas with the lowest percentage of workless households in 2010 were Oxfordshire and Surrey, each at 11%, followed by Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and North East Moray at 11%.

This equates to around one in every nine households as opposed to almost one in every three for those areas with the highest percentage of workless households. Over the same period for the UK as a whole, 19% of households had no one in work. The areas closest to the national average were Somerset (19%) and Monmouthshire & Newport (19%).

Some people in workless households are not working because of early retirement. Nationally, 19% of people aged 16 to 64 living in workless households gave this reason. The percentage was much higher in the South West at 27%, with just 10% in London.