Nearly a quarter of households in Ireland can be described as "jobless" compared with a European average of 11%.
That is according to a report by the National Economic and Social Council, which acts as an analyst on economic and social issues.
Jobless households are where no-one in the household is working or only has very limited access to work. Around 23% of Irish households fall under this category.
The report suggests the issue will not be resolved through a single solution, but through a package of supports.
It examines the characteristics of jobless households and finds that those who live in jobless homes are more likely to have no educational qualifications, to have never worked or to be unskilled.
Dr Helen Johnston, the report’s author, said a distinguishing feature of the households is the likelihood they are families with children and are at high-risk of poverty.
As a result, many jobless homes run for generations.
The NESC has said that a wide range of responses is needed from improving adult literacy to better services for people with disabilities.
The report also says the Government must address the obstacles faced by people transferring from social welfare to employment.
In response, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said one of the Government's priorities is to dismantle the passive welfare system that abandoned such large numbers of households to lifelong dependency on the State.
Infographic: National Economic and Social Council