London: Nearly four million people of working age in Britain have never had a proper job and a million of them in the age group of 25 and 64 have never taken home a single pay packet, according to a media report.
The number who have never even had part-time work is more than four times the population of UK's second city Birmingham, the Sun reported.
More than a third of those who have never earned a living are aged between 18 and 24 with a new generation struggling in an age of economic gloom.
But there are a million aged between 25 and 64 who have not taken home a single pay packet.
And 205,000 pensioners aged 65-plus never did a day's paid work before "retiring", the report said.
Another 1.1 million are 16 or 17 and have quit school but not found work ? or are students who have never had a holiday job.
Outside the whole of London, where 737,000 have never worked, Birmingham has the most with 144,000 double any other British city, the report said.
Leeds is next with 72,000, then Manchester on 71,000, Glasgow 55,000 and Liverpool 52,000.
The 3.9 million total includes disabled people who cannot work. But the scale of the problem has sparked calls for further benefit reforms to make working much more worthwhile.
Reacting to the report, TaxPayers' Alliance boss Matthew Sinclair said: "These are truly shocking figures which underline the importance of reforming the welfare system in order to make work pay once and for all.
"Leaving millions to languish on benefits for life is not fair on those individuals or taxpayers.
"But the Government also has a duty to create an environment in which it is easier for businesses to take people on, which means less red tape and lower taxes," Sinclair was quoted as saying by the paper.
Employment minister Mark Hoban said more must be done to make it easier to find jobs but insisted that those out of work needed to "do their bit to find a job".
First Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013, 15:37