THE rate of workless households in West Dunbartonshire is among the highest in the UK - leaving 2,000 kids with no main bread winner in the home.

According to recent figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the area ranks sixth on a list, behind neighbouring county Glasgow and Liverpool, in north west England.

Since 2006, the rate has increased from 20.7 per cent to the position it’s in now.

When the statistics were first logged 13 years ago, West Dunbartonshire sat in 80th position among all the regions of the UK, and has now soared 74 places.

However, the 2006 ranking includes a number of authorities where the figures are not considered “reliable for practical purposes”, so the real place in the standings could be lower.

The statistics show 7,000 homes across the area have no one in the home making a living, amounting to 24.1 per cent - almost a quarter of all households.

Nearly 17 per cent of children in West Dunbartonshire are also in the same situation.

Latest headlines: Renton is 'least safe station' in Dumbarton and the Vale

In 2018, 54.6 per cent of homes in the area - more than 16,000 - were considered “working households”, where all people over the age of 16 are in employment.

In the same period, 6,000 homes were “mixed households”, where at least one, but not all adults are working.

The town of Hartlepool in the north east of England was found to have the worst calculable rate, at 29.7 per cent, around 9,000 households.

Despite the statistics, recent figures released by the ONS show employment rose by 0.3 per cent between December and January.

Click here for all the latest news in Dumbarton and the Vale

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “As a council, we’re doing everything we can to tackle worklessness in our communities.

“Through direct contact with residents, research and consultation, our employability service, Working 4U, has developed targeted support to help individuals and families to secure employment, access education and training, increase confidence and claim in and out of work benefits.

“The latest statistics show that employment rates are improving in our area and we are committed to ensuring this positive trend continues.”