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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of people in work remained virtually unchanged at the record high of 32.7 million. The unemployment rate was 3.9% - its lowest point at any time since 1975.

Over the past 12 months, the number of people in work has grown by nearly half a million. Excluding bonuses, the average weekly pay grew 3.4%. With the latest inflation rate at 1.8%, workers saw a real-terms pay increase during the period.

ONS deputy head of labour market statistics Matt Hughes said: "The jobs market remains robust, with the number of people in work continuing to grow.

"The increase over the past year is all coming from full-timers, both employees and the self-employed.

"Earnings have now been growing ahead of inflation for over a year, but in real terms, wage levels have not yet returned to their pre-downturn peak."

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, said: "Today's figures suggest that the job market remained robust in the run up to our supposed Brexit from the EU, which is positive news for our economy. That being said, we cannot ignore the fact that ongoing uncertainty means the UK is a much less desirable location for EU migrants to live and work in right now, putting pressure on businesses who are already struggling to find the home-grown talent they need to remain competitive on a global scale.

"Because of this, employers are having to pull out all the stops in order to entice professionals out of their current roles and this is reflected in the 3.4% increase in weekly earnings. Our own data echos this, finding that average page jumped up by 3.1% in January of this year and a staggering 30.2% in February, suggesting that organisations are desperately attempting to attract people to their jobs with the promise of better pay."