The British Office for National Statistics listed the 50 areas with the highest percentage of households where no one holds a job, the Daily Mirror reported. Only four were in the south, three of them districts in East London.
The two places where more than 30 percent of households had no one employed were Middlesbrough in northern Yorkshire at 30.9 percent, and Glasgow in Scotland at 30.2 percent. In South Norfolk, by contrast, only 4.6 percent of households had no one working.
The unemployed in the south were also more likely to be retired, in school or disabled, the ONS said. Households were only counted if someone in them was between the ages of 16 and 64.
Government statisticians said the areas where unemployment is common were once Britain's industrial powerhouses, The (Glasgow) Herald reported.
"Glasgow was once a major force in shipbuilding as well as other engineering, but competition overseas has seen that decline since the 1960s," the report said. "Liverpool had a large manufacturing base and one of the U.K.'s largest docks, which have both been in decline since the 1970s."
The same was true in the south, where London's East End was a center of manufacturing and of the London Docks. Dagenham, one of three London districts in the top 50 in unemployment, was home to a large Ford assembly plant.
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