Number in work reaches record 32. 2 million as earnings grow above inflation

The number of people in work has reached a record high, while earnings have grown slightly above inflation for the first time in almost a year, new figures showed.

Employment increased by 55,000 in the quarter to February to 32.2 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.4%.

Unemployment fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million, the lowest in more than a decade, giving a jobless rate of 4.2%, the lowest since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to February, unchanged on the previous month and the highest since September 2015.

The latest CPI inflation figure is 2.7% and is expected to remain unchanged when new figures are published on Wednesday.

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