A shortage of high-paid jobs is forcing Brighton and Hove residents to commute away from home according to business experts.

A lack of high-end salaries is the reason why Brighton and Hove's population drops by 5,000 people during the working week according to Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership chief executive Tony Mernagh.

The city sees its total population drop by 2.5% during the working day as more employees commute out to work than come into the city according to new figures released from the Census.

Crawley and Chichester were the only areas in the county which saw their population increase during a work day by 30% and 10% respectively.

Arun saw the biggest drop in population with a 17% reduction in the population during work hours which business figures said indicated a lack of local job opportunities for residents.

Mr Mernagh said: “The figures show there are not enough high-paid jobs in the city and that is why 33,000 people are travelling, mainly north to London, everyday to work.

“How we change that is by taking those sectors that pay better wages and help them expand, like digital, and take those sectors which traditionally don't pay that well, such as hospitality and retail, and get them to sign up to the Living Wage.

“I think there will always be more people leaving the city, the city is too small for a completely balanced travel-to-work ratio, but if you look across the city region stretching to Worthing, Burgess Hill and Eastbourne, it is more balanced.”

Chichester Chamber of Commerce chair Louise Fenwick said: “In some ways it is positive that lots of people are working in Chichester but on the other side of the coin, that number of commuters is unfortunately a symbol of properties in Chichester not being affordable and are having to come from areas with cheaper housing such as Portsmouth or Bognor to work here.”

Nick Stuart-Nicolson Bognor, president of the Bognor Regis District Chamber of Commerce, said the figures did indicate a shortage of job opportunities for residents.

He said: “We have got some high-tech companies on the business estate and we are hopeful that the regeneration of Bognor could create more job opportunities.

“There is currently a planning application for a development at Oldlands Farm, it is an enabling project where we put in the units and hope that the companies will come.

“Bognor like all coastal towns, including Brighton, will always be at a disadvantage as they have three ways in rather than four.”