There are now 31.4 million people in work – up 20,000 over the past quarter and 360,000 in the past year.
This growth is being driven by full-time employment, which made up 80% of the annual rise, and there are a near record 751,000 vacancies available in the jobs market.
The figures show that average wages before bonuses grew 2.2% over the last year. The private sector in particular continues to perform strongly with average wage growth before bonuses of 2.5% over the same period.
Work and Pensions Secretary of State Stephen Crabb said:
We remain in a position of strength, with a record employment rate, wages continuing to grow steadily and three-quarters of a million vacancies available in the labour market.
Work is essential in transforming the lives of the most disadvantaged people in society and is at the heart of our welfare reforms. We are committed to ensuring that everyone across the country benefits from our strong economy and the opportunities this brings.
The latest labour market statistics, released today by the ONS, also show:
- the female employment rate remains at a record high of 69.1%, with nearly a million more women in work since 2010
- long-term unemployment has fallen to 467,000 – the lowest level since early 2009
- the inactivity rate — the number of people not in employment and not looking or not available to work — has fallen to its joint lowest rate on record of 21.7%