The UK has the highest incidence of adults living in workless households of the six largest EU economies, says a new report.
The figure is now running at 11.5 per cent, claims the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS).
The social and economic challenges this poses are inextricably linked, argues Peter Warburton in 'More Producers Needed: why tackling workless households can lead to growth', which is published this week.
The report also says that a 10 per cent drop in the number of workless households would add around one per cent to Britain's GDP.
However the CPS' detailed policy proposals, including greater regional pay 'flexibility' for public sector workers, the 'localisation' of the benefit system and the curtailment of benefits, will be widely contested by trade unionists and others.
They share the concern about joblessness among individuals and families, but believe that investment rather than cuts - or a 'divide and rule' approach to pay and benefits - is the way forward.
The Centre for Policy Studies has been seen as an eager proponent of 'Thatcherite' solutions to economic and social problems.