The city has the lowest employment rate in the UK at 64.1 per cent, below the country-wide average of 74.2 per cent, figures from the Centre for Cites think tank showed.
Dundee would require an additional 10,000 jobs just to pull itself level with the UK average, according to data collected in the year ending June 2017.
The shock figures reveal the city is bottom of the employment table followed by Blackburn, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bradford.
But a local government expert believes the long-awaited opening of the new V&A museum, along with a wider regeneration of the Dundee waterfront, will kickstart a period of economic growth.
“Everyone would want a V&A in their city because they generate tourism and therefore jobs,” professor Tony Travers of the London School of Economics told The Sun.
“That’s because museums are very much like international airports. They require a vast range of different jobs from skilled areas like curators to less skilled work in coffee shops - but they will need to draw on a local workforce.”
The proposed Tay Cities Deal - which includes Perth - is also viewed as a vital mechanism in bringing more investment to Dundee.
“Short of Amazon suddenly deciding to move their global HQ to the Carse of Gowrie, the Tay Cities Deal is the only credible thing on the horizon that can help close the employment gap so evident in Dundee,” business journalist Graham Huband wrote in The Courier.
“The vision offered in the deal document is to create 15,000 jobs over 10 years by transforming the Tay Cities area into Europe’s most productive knowledge-led economy.
“That’s a tall order by anyone’s standards – especially in such uncertain times as we are now experiencing – but what we have in Tay Cities is a costed and, crucially, investable plan that at least has a chance of succeeding.”
The think tank report also found the Dundee economy has a greater reliance on public sector jobs than all other cities in the UK, with 47,000 private sector jobs compared to 30,500 roles in the public sector.