UK unemployment fell to 7.4 per cent between August and October compared to 7.7 per cent for the previous three months, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.
This rate is the lowest seen since the February-to-April period of 2009.
The number of unemployed fell by 99,000 between August and October, with the number of people out of work standing at 2.39 million.
The positive figures follow huge Office for Budget Responsibility upgrades to growth forecasts, compared to March estimates, up from 0.6 per cent this year to 1.4 per cent.
The OBR also revised its March estimates for growth next year upwards from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent.
Today’s figures show there were an extra 250,000 people in work than the previous three months, topping 30 million for the first time.
Comparing August to October 2013 with a year earlier, there were 485,000 more people in employment, and 121,000 fewer unemployed people.
Total pay rose by 0.9 per cent compared with August to October 2012. Regular pay rose by 0.8 per cent over the same period.
The improving unemployment figures are closing in on the Bank of England’s 7 per cent threshold when it will consider interest rate rises.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has tried to calm consumer fears over rate rises by insisting it is a “threshold not a trigger”.
Capital Economics UK economist Samuel Tombs says: “The latest UK labour market figures will add to doubts over the MPC’s view that the unemployment rate will take about another two years to fall to the 7 per cent threshold.
“Nonetheless, the minutes of December’s MPC meeting provide more evidence that the Committee is unlikely to raise interest rates as soon as the unemployment rate reaches 7 per cent. In particular, the minutes noted that the recent strengthening of the pound meant that inflation was probably on course to dip below the 2 per cent target in the second half of 2014.
“So even if the economic recovery continues to bring the unemployment rate down rapidly, the benign inflation outlook will enable the MPC to keep interest rates on hold for a long time yet.”