Unemployment drops to 6.6pc

Previously from November 2013 to January 2014 the figure was 7.2%, while it was 7.8% a year ago.

There were still around 2.16 million people who are unemployed, yet this stands 161,000 lower than for November 2013 to January 2014 and 347,000 lower than a year earlier.

In total there were 54 million people in work between February and April.

Pay including bonuses in the three months was 0.7% higher than a year earlier, while excluding bonuses it was 0.9% higher.

Between February and April 72.9% of people aged 16 to 64 were in work, down just one percentage point from the downturn of 2008/09 and up from 72.3% between November 2013 and January 2014.

There were 8.82 million economically inactive people who were out of work but not seeking, 80,000 fewer than November 2013.

Just 21.8% of people aged from 16 to 64 were economically inactive, the lowest figure since 1990.