Scottish areas new job blackspots
Areas of Scotland have overtaken inner London boroughs to become the UK's worst employment blackspots, according to a study.
The TUC said West Dunbartonshire was the worst place to find a job, with more than 40 people chasing every vacancy, compared with a national average of six.
The number of dole claimants per vacancy had quadrupled since 2005, said the TUC, adding that new employment blackspots had emerged since the recession.
London boroughs including Haringey and Lewisham had been in the top 10 for years, but they were now joined by new areas such as the Isle of Wight, West Dunbartonshire and South Lanarkshire, said the report.
Some London boroughs such as Southwark, Islington and Kensington and Chelsea had seen their claimants to vacancies ratio improve since 2005, according to the research, published ahead of new unemployment figures on Wednesday.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "People living in inner London boroughs have had tough job prospects for many years but since the recession new employment blackspots have emerged.
"There is a stark jobs divide across the country with parts of Scotland and the Tees Valley experiencing a far sharper downturn than parts of the South East.
"We are still in the midst of a jobs crisis. Dozens of towns and cities have more than 10 dole claimants chasing every vacancy and areas on their doorstep are not faring much better. It's not good enough for ministers to brand those out of work as feckless and claim that there are plenty of jobs out there. The reality is very different."
A DWP spokesperson said: "Our priority is to invest in the economy to create the right conditions so that companies are confident and start hiring people again. But we also know that people need good support to get into work.
"That's why last week we announced new sector based work academies to offer a new dimension to the existing support on offer by combining real training, work experience and a guaranteed interview which will give people another platform to get into a job."