NEARLY one in five homes in Edinburgh has no-one in a paid job, new figures reveal.
A UK-wide study by the Office for National Statistics showed Glasgow was the city with the highest proportion of workless households – almost one in three – followed by Liverpool, Hull, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
However, UK Government ministers insisted the overall picture was improving, claiming that the number of jobless households across Britain had fallen by nearly half a million since 2010.
In Edinburgh, the statistics show 19 per cent of households had no-one in work. The figure for East Lothian was 18.5 per cent, West Lothian 18.7 per cent and Midlothian 16 per cent.
For Scotland as a whole, the most common reason for workless households was sickness or disability, accounting for 33 per cent of all cases – higher than in England, where sickness was blamed for 27 per cent of cases.
Finance Secretary John Swinney pointed to the national picture to claim that Scotland as a whole had a higher rate of households in work than the rest of the UK.
In total, 54.1 per cent of households in Scotland were classified as “working households” compared to 53 per cent in the UK. The statistics show a big disparity in the labour market in different parts of Scotland, with only 12 per cent of households out of work in Aberdeen and Moray, compared with rates of 28.9 per cent in Clackmannanshire, 28 per cent in North Ayrshire, 26.7 per cent in West Dunbartonshire, 25.5 per cent in Inverclyde and 24 per cent in Dundee.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “It’s a depressing, but familiar fact that so many are out of work. Rebuilding the economy to create jobs, reforming the welfare system and cutting tax for low incomes to help make work pay and improving educational opportunities are steps the UK government is taking to help people into work.”
UK Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: “Nationally, the number of workless households has fallen by more than 425,000 since the coalition took office. This is good news, but we know there are areas where we need to do more.”