The West Midlands is a hotspot for zero-hours with more workers here on the controversial contracts than almost any other UK region.
There were 67,000 people in this type of work in the last quarter of 2014, according to new data, which means 2.6 per cent of workers are on zero-hours contracts.
That is more than any other UK region outside the South West.
However, business leaders have defended the data, from the Office for National Statistics, which comes after a major fall in unemployment in the region.
Greater Birmingham Chamber spokesman John Lamb said, while the contracts were not ideal, they could help to get people out of unemployment.
He said: "Companies are always going to need some temporary labour. A lot of work is seasonal and you'd particularly expect that over that period.
"People need to take on temporary workers and zero-hours tends to be the way people do it these days.
"It is a double-edged sword - inevitably, you'd prefer employment to be permanent but it doesn't always happen like that."
Around one in 38 people in the region said they were on the contracts, according to figures from October to December last year.
Across the UK, the number of people employed on a zero-hours contract in their main job was 697,000 for October to December 2014, representing 2.3 per cent of all people in employment.
In the same period in 2013, this was 1.9 per cent of all people in employment.
However, as the number of people who say they are on on the contracts depends on them recognising the term, the Office for National Statistics said it could not be sure how much of the increase was down to greater recognition than new contracts.
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, said: "Flexible contracts offer an important source of job creation that supports business growth and employees who need to manage different responsibilities.
"The range of options on offer in the UK is why we are continuing to create thousands of new jobs and have a high employment rate and lower unemployment than many other countries."