Unemployment has fallen to 5.1%, with the number of full-time roles growing by more than double the rate of part-time positions over the last year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
It shows that between October and January there were 31.42 million people in work, 205,000 more than for July to September 2015 and 521,000 more than for a year earlier. Around half of the increase in jobs comes from self-employment.
There were 22.98 million people working full-time, 387,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.43 million people working part-time, 134,000 more than for a year earlier.
There were 924,000 unemployed men, 116,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 766,000 unemployed women, 57,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 1.9% including bonuses and by 2.0% excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.
Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, says: “Today’s figures confirm that employment continues to make a full recovery. A sharp quarterly rise of over 200,000 in the number of people in work, combined with another fall in joblessness against the backdrop of a slowing economy, is impressive. However, half of the employment increase comes from the self-employed, while the monthly figures suggest that growth may be slowing. The supply of EU migrants into the UK labour market is also starting to plateau, so employers will need to think carefully about how they are going to fill skills gaps in the coming months and this must start with greater investment in workforce skills.”