THOUSANDS of households across Wrexham and Flintshire are out of work, according to figures.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimate that last year 13 per cent of households in Flintshire and Wrexham were workless.

This equates to almost 6,000 homes in Flintshire and more than 5,000 in Wrexham.

According to the ONS, a household is defined as workless if every person aged from 16 to 64 in the house is not in employment at the time of the annual population survey.

Across Wales, the most common reason people gave for not being in work was being sick or disabled - 42 per cent of out-of-work individuals cited illness or disability as the primary reason for not working.

Students made up 10 per cent of the group and 11 per cent were early retirees.

Just 11 per cent of jobless people in the area were officially 'unemployed' - looking for work and able to start within two weeks.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "Since 2010 the proportion of workless households is down in every region of Great Britain.

"The unemployment rate remains at its lowest since 1971, but we're committed to ensuring that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so - while making sure there is a safety net for those who can't."

Wrexham and Flintshire's proportion of workless households is slightly lower than the UK-wide figure of 15 per cent, and the Wales figure of 17 per cent.

The DWP has also said that the majority of employment growth has been in both full-time and permanent roles - but experts are still concerned about improving job security.

Kate Bell, head of economics at the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said: "Some of these officially 'workless' households are actually stuck in a revolving door between short-term, insecure jobs and periods without any work."

According to TUC research published in May, nearly 4 million UK workers are in insecure work, such as agency work, zero-hour contracts and low-paid self-employment, amounting to more than 10 per cent of the workforce.

"Behind the headlines about record employment rates, there are major problems of low pay, insecure work and in-work poverty," Ms Bell added.

David Leese, policy analysis manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said workless families in particular are at a much higher risk of poverty.

Figures from the DWP for 2016-17 show that in workless households almost 75 per cent of children are growing up in poverty, compared to only 5 per cent of children with two working parents.

According to disability charity Scope, disabled people also struggle to find and stay in work.

A 2017 survey of 2,000 disabled adults, commissioned by Scope, found that disabled jobseekers apply for more jobs and are offered fewer interviews than non-disabled applicants.

The DWP said that it has a range of support available to help disabled people get into work.

The spokesman added: "Our access to work grants can provide up to £57,200 of practical support a year.

"Our work and health programme can also help disabled people find and keep a job if they're out of work."