YORK has the highest level of jobs growth in low-skilled and low-paid occupations in the country.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, compiled by Comparative Economies, reveal that out of all the jobs created in York over the past four years, 51 per cent of them have been elementary occupations.

The figures is the highest percentage across the UK, beating Burnley in second place with 47 per cent, and Birmingham in third with 38 per cent.

Elementary occupations are defined as those which require the knowledge and experience necessary to perform mostly routine tasks, often involving the use of simple hand-held tools and, in some cases, requiring a degree of physical effort.

Occupations include roles in agriculture, construction, process plant, administration and services, cleaning, security, sales and storage.

Of the remaining jobs created, 18.4 per cent were professional occupations, and 17 per cent were classed as middle occupations.

Councillor James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, said: “These figures confirm what I have been saying for some time. While I am pleased the council working in partnership with businesses sees York reduce unemployment faster than the regional or national average, it is clear a lot of this growth is in lower wage jobs.

“York’s focus needs to increasingly be on helping existing business who pay their staff well to grow and attracting similar businesses to York.

“York’s job seeker’s allowance rate is now one of the lowest in the country and stands at 1.1 per cent, but far too many residents are having to rely on part-time work and zero hour contracts.

“York doesn’t just need more jobs, York needs better jobs.”