Iain Duncan Smith caused a mini-storm last night after saying the unemployed should "get on a bus" to find a job.
Speaking on BBC's Newsnight, the work and pension secretary said people had to be ready to move out of struggling areas because there were jobs available.
He said Merthyr Tydfil in Wales was an example of a place where out-of-work inhabitants had become "static".
"If they got on the bus an hour's journey they would be in Cardiff and they could look for the job there," he said.
Labour politicians and union leaders likened Duncan Smith's remarks to those of former Conservative minister Norman Tebbit's, who in 1981 declared that unemployed people should get on their bikes to find work.
"The truth is there are jobs," Duncan Smith added: "They may not be absolutely in the town you are living in. They may be in a neighbouring town."
BBC Wales research found Merthyr to be the second most vulnerable Welsh area to public spending cuts.
Tracking real performance
Diversified return team
The equivalent of £1.7m every day
Janus Henderson Global Dividend index