Unemployment fell to its lowest level since spring, official figures show today.

The number out of work dropped by 50,000 in the three months to August to 2.53 million, giving a jobless rate of 7.9%.

The number of people in work has reached a record high, though this statistic masks the fact of them are in part-time jobs than ever before.

Employment grew over the same period by 212,000 to 29.59 million, the highest since records began in 1971.

But 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.

The Office for National Statistics also reports part-time employment increased by 125,000 between March and May, to a record high of 8.13 million.

In other key stats:

  • The number claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 4,000 in September to 1.57 million, the third consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since July 2011.
  • Youth unemployment fell by 62,000 to 957,000, the lowest figure for over a year.
  • Self-employment has also increased, up by 35,000 to 4.2 million, while the number of unpaid workers in a family business rose by 2,000 to 112,000.
  • 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. This is against September's inflation rate of 2.6%, so wages are not keeping pace with the rise in the cost of living.