Bay remains region's workless capital
TORBAY remains the workless capital of the South West with more than one in five households having no-one in employmen, new figures reveal.
Latest data shows the number of homes in the Bay where none of the adults are in work stood at 9,000 in 2011 — 22.5 per cent of all households.
But despite continuing to top the region's workless league table coming ahead of Bristol (21.8 per cent), the figures actually reveal a drop on the previous year.
In 2010, the number stood at 11,000 — 25.2 per cent of all households.
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The figures also show the number of children living in workless households in Torbay stood at 5,000 in 2011 — unchanged from the previous year.
In Teignbridge, there were 8,000 homes with no adult working last year (18.7 per cent), and in South Hams 4,000 (13.7 per cent).
According to the analysis by the Office for National Statistics, Liverpool had the highest percentage of workless households in the UK.
Overall, 31.6 per cent of households there were workless in 2011, slightly down on the previous year's figure of 31.9 per cent.
It was the fourth year in a row that Liverpool had the highest rate, said the ONS.
Oxfordshire had the lowest proportion at eight per cent.
A workless household is classed as one that contains at least one person aged 16 to 64, where no-one is in employment.
Across the UK sickness, both long-term and temporary, was the main reason for not working given by the people living in workless households.
But in the South West it was retirement.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "These figures make clear that high concentrations of workless households are not due to a so-called 'benefits culture' but because of mass unemployment caused by the collapse of major industries.
"It is a lack of jobs that puts people on benefits, not the other way round. Ministers must avoid the easy option of simply demonising people on benefits as this will not help a single person back into work.
"Instead we need an industrial strategy and proper investment to create jobs and give hope to these communities."