THE pay gap between York's lowest earners and the city's average wage is narrowing after hitting a ten year high.

The latest figures, recorded for 2013, show pay packets among both the lowest quarter of earners in York, and the lowest ten per cent of earners moved closer to the average wage in the city.

While the average gross weekly wage stood at £523 in both 2012 and 2013, the amount earned by the lowest paid quarter of workers rose to within 45 per cent of that in 2013, standing at £360 a week gross.

That compared to a percentage difference in 2012 of 48 per cent, when pay for the lower 25 percentile was £5 a week less at £355 gross.

The 48 per cent difference recorded that year was the highest gap reported in records going back to 2003.

Last year's figures show the percentage gap also decreased among the tenth lowest earners in the city who saw their wages rise within 81 per cent of the average wage.

The increase from £279 a week in 2012, to £288 a week last year, saw the pay gap compared to average wages close from 87 per cent to 81 per cent.

Stewart Halliday, assistant director for transformation and change at City of York Council said: "The gap in pay between the lowest earners and average earners is falling, and is one of the key trends we are examining as part of our poverty and economic inclusion strategy.

"This is a positive year on year trend in a period where we have been working with partners in the city to pay the living wage.

"However, York still has a larger pay gap than the UK average so this still remains an important issue for the city to work together to address."

While York has a higher average wage than UK's average weekly wage, which stands at £518 a week gross, the difference between lowest and average earners is higher.

The UK's tenth lowest earners are within 80 per cent of the average, while the lowest quarter are within 40 per cent.

A spokesperson for York social policy organisation Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "It is too early to say whether the narrowing is a significant trend, however indicators that income is improving for those at the bottom is encouraging.

"The challenge now will be to ensure the benefits of economic growth and recovering incomes reach those in greatest need.

"Take up of the Living Wage and getting more and better jobs in our jobs market will get to the heart of the problem, and ensure the improvement is sustained and real, rather than a slight change in the data."