There were 69,000 people in the West Midlands on zero hours contracts at the end of last year.

Figures for October to December 2015, found 2.6 per cent of people across the region was in a job with no guaranteed hours, or one in 39 employees.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 801,000 people across the UK said they were on a contract with no guaranteed hours between October to December 2015, representing 2.5 per cent of people in employment.

The latest figure is 15 per cent higher than that for October to December 2014 (697,000 or 2.3 per cent of people in employment).

However, the ONS said it is not possible to say how much of this increase is due to greater recognition of the term “zero-hours contracts” rather than additional contracts.

West Midlands named zero-hours hotspot

People on zero-hours contracts are more likely to be young, part time, women, or in full-time education when compared with other people in employment.

On average, someone on a zero-hours contract usually works 26 hours a week. Around one in three people (37 per cent) on a zero-hours contract want more hours, with most wanting them in their current job, as opposed to a different job which offers more hours. In comparison 10 per cent of other people in employment wanted more hours.

The results also show there were around 1.7 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum number of hours, measured during the fortnight beginning November 9 2015.

In May 2015, the equivalent estimate was 2.1 million. The estimates may be affected by seasonal factors, relating to when the data were collected.