Train station

Unemployment in the UK fell by 110,000 to 1.71 million in the three months between August and October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The latest figures mean that the unemployment rate is now at 5.2%, the lowest it has been since the three months to January 2006.

There are now 31.3 million people in work in the UK, 505,000 more than during the same period last year.

Mark Beatson, chief economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said: "Today’s statistics suggest that job growth in the UK has well and truly recovered, following what seemed to be a pause earlier in the year."

He added: "With very low inflation, the average pay packet is still increasing in real terms, but this will only be sustainable if productivity increases. This will require organisations to invest in technology, new systems and their workforce."

Michael Martins, economic analyst at the IoD, said: "Yet again, these latest jobs figures make for welcome reading. The facts are impressive, and, given the turbulence which is affecting many parts of the world, worth repeating. In nearly aspect, the labour market is tightening. The employment rate is at its highest ever level, the unemployment rate is down to its lowest since well before the crash 5.2%, and youth unemployment - always a tricky problem to solve - continues to fall impressively. All of this indicates we are closing in on full employment."