ONE in four Sunderland households has no-one in work.
Damning new figures today reveal the city has some of the highest rates of jobless homes in the country.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that 26 per cent of households have nobody in work.
The research reveals a rise from 22,000 households in 2009 to 24,000 last year.
Some 28 per cent of those jobless were registered disabled, while about 20 per cent were unemployed, 19 per cent retired, 15 per cent full-time parents or carers, and 11 per cent students.
Others, described as “inactive”, were awaiting the results of job applications, did not need work or had only recently started looking for employment.
Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said she was shocked by the report.
“These are very stark figures and the way things are going they only look like getting worse,” she said.
“A number of these households will be students or those with illnesses or disabilities, but most will be families in which the adults are struggling to find work or where parents are being forced out of work because they can’t afford the rising costs of childcare now subsidies and working tax credits have been cut.”
“The Government need to urgently reassess their economic plans to ensure that they are not only creating jobs, but also giving people the support they need to take them.”
Jonathan Walker, of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said that companies were working hard to create jobs, but needed more help.
“I think given the current economic climate, the figures are not a massive surprise, but it is not good news,” he said. “It shows the need for supporting and ensuring those people who have been made redundant or those leaving school are given the skills and opportunities to get into the future workforce.
“Businesses are also finding it tough and the Government needs to think about how it can best incentivise employers.”
Easington – where 11,000 households, 32 per cent, were without work – ranked alongside Liverpool, Nottingham and Glasgow as having some of the worst statistics.
In Durham, the figure was just 6,000 households, 17 per cent, while Chester-le-Street had 3,000, 15 per cent.
Newcastle recorded 23,000 jobless households, 24 per cent.
The areas with the lowest number of workless households were Oxfordshire, Surrey, Aberdeen, and NE Moray, all around 11 per cent.
The national figure for workless households was 18.9 per cent.