UK unemployment fell in the three months to December, while the number in work also jumped.
A huge rise in employment means that there are more people in work than every before, with the number in work rising by 154,000 to almost 30 million, it was revealed today. That means more than 580,000 more people are employed than a year ago.
The jobless total fell by 14,000 between October and December to 2.5 million, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in January fell by 12,500 to 1.54 million. Overall, the ONS said there were 29.73 million people in the UK in employment, of which 73% were working full-time and 27% were working part-time.
The ONS said that between October to December 2012, full-time employment was 378,000 lower than in the April-to-June quarter in 2008, the first quarter of the recession. But part-time employment was 572,000 higher compared with the same period.
The fall in long-term unemployment is particularly welcome for the British economy and shows that the training and support on offer is helping people move off benefits and into work.
The figures show another big increase in full-time jobs, with half a million more British people in work over the past year and more women in employment than ever before.
However, there was less good news in the youth unemployment figures, as it emerged that 11,000 more young people were out of a job. In total 974,000 16- to 24-year-olds are currently looking for work.
And average wages also continue to flag, rising just 1.4% over the past year to reach £472 per week, roughly £24,600 per year.
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