YORK remains among the strongest performing cities in the UK, according to the latest set of economic figures released for the major UK population centres.

The city has enjoyed a three per cent rise in employment since the last annual Cities Outlook report, making it sixth best in the UK for falling unemployment. However, York still remains one of the most expensive in the UK to rent or buy a home.

The report, published by Centre for Cities, also puts York in the top ten cities with the highest employment rate, and it is the only city in the North of England in the top ten to have the lowest levels of inequality.

York is also ranked in the top five cities with the lowest Job Seekers Allowance claimant count and also had a top ten showing in the cities with least number of residents without formal qualifications.

Susie Cawood, head of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of commerce, said: “People are now starting to be a bit more positive and are looking to invest again. We are positive about this year and a lot of our members are too.”

The figures were also welcomed by the chief executive of City of York Council, Kersten England, who said they proved York was one of the best places in the UK to live.

She said: “It proves that the city is well placed to recover from the global recession and to ensure that all sections of the York community can benefit from new economic opportunities.

“The council is committed to working closely with businesses to build a prosperous future for York, but we are not complacent about the state of the economy.

“We recognise the importance of inward investment, bringing forward developments, and making sure that there is a skilled workforce to meet employer needs so that the local economy has a robust future.”

Coun James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “We agree with the report that 2013 needs to be a year in which cities call for a shift in the way that economic growth is localised, not least that house building in cities with high house prices and rents, such as York, are prioritised as we also have the demand.”