By Claire West

Commenting on the latest figures for workless households, published this week by the Office for National Statistics, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'These figures show just how hard it is to find work in many parts of the country. In Liverpool alone there are more than six unemployed people chasing every vacancy.

'Ministers want us to think that anyone on benefits is a workshy scrounger, but however diligently people search for work they can't get jobs that simply aren't there.

'The cuts will make both public and private sector workers redundant, often in places where joblessness is already high. It's much harder to close the deficit if the dole queue is lengthening, so we need a fundamental change of course that gives priority to economic growth and job creation.'