Unemployment has continued to fall and the number of people in work has reached a record high, new figures showed today.
The jobless total was cut by 28,000 in the three months to July to 1.65 million, the lowest for more than a year, while the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell for the 11th month in a row, the Office for National Statistics said.
The claimant count was 852,900 in August, down by 4,200 from the previous month, the lowest total since April 2005.
Meanwhile, the number of people in work increased by 84,000 over the previous quarter to reach a record high of 29.1 million.
The total number of hours worked in the three months to July was 932.1 million, a slip back from last month's record high of 934 million hours.
The number of people of working age classed as economically inactive, including those looking after a relative, taking early retirement or people who have given up looking for a job, was virtually unchanged from the previous month.
The figure fell by 1,000 on the previous three months to 7.95 million, or more than 20% of the working population.
Employment minister Caroline Flint welcomed the figures, saying: "They show employment is up, unemployment is down and numbers on the claimant count have fallen.
"Once again, we have a strong set of labour market figures with record numbers in work.
"We have made real improvements since 1997, reducing the number of people claiming unemployment benefit by almost half and seeing numbers on all main out of work benefits fall by around one million.
"But we are determined to reach full employment, something which would have been unimaginable 10 years ago."