More than 3.3 million jobs have been created in service firms since Labour came to power in 1997, research has claimed.
The GMB union said the new jobs offset huge cutbacks in manufacturing companies – and that just over half of the posts were full-time.
Just under a million jobs have been lost in manufacturing in the same period, the study showed.
The union drew up a national league of areas with the highest number of new jobs since 1997.
This was headed by Lancashire, Kent, Leeds, Staffordshire, Birmingham, Hampshire, Essex and Glasgow.
Paul Kenny, acting general secretary of the GMB, said: “This impressive record of job creation has coincided with the introduction of the national minimum wage, new family-friendly laws and the rebuilding our public services.”
He accused the employers body the CBI of deliberately misleading the public with its claim that the national minimum wage would cost jobs.