Unemployment fell to 5.4% between June to August, down 0.2% on the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Most of the increase was in full-time jobs. Some 291,000 more people were working full time, 163,000 of them men, than at the same point last year and 68,000 more working part time.
The employment rate was 73.6%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 and the number of unemployed people feel by 79,000 on the previous quarter.
The number of men who were unemployed fell more than for women. There were 970,000 unemployed men, 125,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 803,000 unemployed women, 73,000 fewer than for a year earlier. Some 78.4% of men and 68.8% of women aged from 16 to 64 were in work. The rise in the employment rate for women is partly due to ongoing changes to the state pension age for women resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.
The number of self employed people fell by 26,000 on last year’s figures.
Pay increased by 3% including bonuses and by 2.8% excluding bonuses on last year’s figures.
Figures released by the ONS earlier in the week show six million people in the UK were living below the living wage last year of which more than half worked par time. The living wage is independently set and is above the national minimum wage. It currently stands at £7.85 an hour outside London and £9.15 an hour in the capital. The ONS says the percentage of people in London living below the living wage rose from 13 to 19% between 2010 and 2014. In the rest of the UK it rose from 21% to 23% between 2012 and 2014.