The number of zero hours contracts has risen by 100,000 in the year to November 21017, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal.

The ONS said the number of employment contracts without a minimum number of guaranteed hours increased to 1.8m in the year to November, up from 1.7m in 2016.

Economists said the latest figures showed the use of zero-hours contracts was beginning to plateau after having fallen in recent years.

The change comes as a consequence of the lowest levels of unemployment in the UK since 1975.

According to the ONS, the proportion of contracts without any guaranteed hours as a percentage of all employment remained steady at 6% last year.

Fewer people also told the government statisticians they were on such a contract, with the number in the UK dropping to 901,000 in the three months to December from 905,000 in the same period of 2016.