Dundee is in the top five worst regions for jobless households in the UK for the second year in a row, it has emerged.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published its latest findings on “workless households” – where everyone in the house is recorded as out of work.
In both 2018 and 2019, the most recently available figures, the city finds itself among the worst percentages in the UK – with Glasgow the only other Scottish local authority in the bottom rung.
The ONS report reveals that in 2019, 25.3% of Dundee homes were jobless, amounting to 14,000 in total – making it the third-worst in the UK, behind Hartlepool, in the north-east of England.
Meanwhile, the year prior, the city was in fourth place with 25.2% of its total households entirely unemployed, which amounted to 13,000 homes.
Ken Linton, Dundee Foodbank manager, said the statistics were borne out by the families they supported on a daily basis.
He said: “We are no longer allowed to ask whether someone is unemployed when they come to us for help.
“However, the figures aren’t really surprising, because of the number of people who say the reason they need support is because of delays or changes to their benefits has left them in crisis.”
Meanwhile, across the UK, the proportion of workless households decreased in more local areas than it increased between 2018 and 2019.
The ONS also said that in 2019, the areas with the highest percentage of workless households were generally located outside the south of England.
Chris Law, MP for Dundee West, said the statistics highlighted the need for more jobs and investment for the city, and argued controversial welfare reforms had pushed hard-up families even deeper into poverty.
He said: “I will always champion our city as a thriving place for new investment and jobs, and although both the Scottish Government and city council are doing their best to deliver jobs to our city, we are being held back by a lack of focus and commitment in the decisions taken by the UK Government, which are ultimately hindering not helping the people of our city.”