The number of people in work in the UK has reached a record high, although more are in part-time jobs than ever, official figures revealed here Wednesday.
Employment grew in the quarter to August by 212,000 to 29.59 million, the highest since records began in 1971.
Unemployment fell by 50thousand in the same period to 2.53 million, the lowest since the spring, giving a jobless rate of 7.9%.
The numbers claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 4 thousands in September to 1.57 million, the third consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since July 2011.
The Office for National Statistics also reported that part-time employment increased by 125 thousand between March and May to a record high of 8.13 million.
The number of people in part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work was close to a record high at 1.4 million.
Youth unemployment fell by 62 thousand to 957 thousand, the lowest figure for over a year.
Self-employment has also increased, up by 35 thousand to 4.2 million, while the number of unpaid workers in a family business rose by 2 thousand to 112 thousand.
The data also showed a rise of 13 thousand in the number of people on Government-supported training and employment programmes to 158 thousand.
Economic inactivity, including those looking after a sick relative or who have given up looking for work, fell by 138 thousand in the latest quarter to just over nine million.
Average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to July, 0.1% up on the previous month, giving an average weekly wage of 473 pound.
Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said in a statement: "It's a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170 thousand fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits than in May 2010.
"The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge, which is why we have the 1 billion pound Youth Contract offering nearly half a million work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job."