Concerns have been raised over the growing number of people who have never had a job.

Figures released by the Scottish Government show that, in Renfrewshire, a total of 8,400 potential workers have never had a pay packet, while the number for East Renfrewshire is 5,400.

This amounts to one in 17 people in Renfrewshire and one in 14 in East Renfrewshire.

And the numbers in both areas have soared over the past decade, with increases of 18 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

West of Scotland MSP Maurice Golden said these figures are signs the Scottish Government has been “neglecting” the nation’s economy.

He added: “The amount of people across the west of Scotland who have never worked is continuing to rise.

“Although employment levels are high across Scotland, these figures are skewed by the amount of over-65s who continue to remain in employment and it is clear that, under the SNP, more people are becoming economically inactive.

“The SNP have been in power for over a decade now but we have seen continuously sluggish growth in the economy in recent years.”

The figures for those who have never had a job include people who are in full-time education.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Current employment statistics show record numbers across Scotland are in work, demonstrating the strength of our labour market and showing the actions we are taking to grow our economy are delivering results.

“However, we recognise many more want to work and our devolved employment service – Fair Start Scotland – aims to provide employment support to a minimum of 38,000 people over three years from this April.”