One-in-five households in large parts of the Westcountry have no-one in work, figures show.
The Office for National Statistics has revealed there were 93,000 "workless" households across Devon and Cornwall in 2011, underlining the economic troubles in the region.
But 9,000 fewer jobless households were recorded last year than in 2010, a further indication that unemployment is falling.
However, some parts of the region saw more households plunge into worklessness, including Exeter, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and Plymouth.
Torbay continues to face the biggest battle against unemployment in the region.
The area has 22.5% of households without anyone in work – the highest proportion of any local authority in the wider South West. By comparison, in the neighbouring Devon County Council area the figure was lower at 15.1%.
Sickness was the main reason given by people living in workless households, although London had the highest percentage of people giving studying as a reason for not working, while retirement was often a reason in the South West.
Almost a third of households in some parts of the UK have no people in employment, the figures show.
A regional breakdown of national data showed Liverpool had the highest percentage of workless households in 2011 at 31.6%, down on the previous year's figure of 31.9%.
South Teesside had the second highest rate at 29.1%. The highest figure in Wales was 28.7% in the Central Valleys, including Merthyr Tydfil, while Glasgow topped the workless household league in Scotland, also at 28.7%.
Areas with the highest rates were heavily industrialised in the last century, with industries such as coal mining and shipbuilding, which have long been in decline.
The lowest percentage of workless households were mainly in the South of England, such as Oxfordshire (8%) and Buckinghamshire (9.8%).
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "These figures make clear that high concentrations of workless households are not due to a so-called 'benefits culture' but because of mass unemployment caused by the collapse of major industries."
Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment said: "In many areas, worklessness remains a substantial challenge. That is why we are taking action to ensure that those living in workless households and their children are given the right opportunities and support to succeed."