Employment at all time high as UK returns to growth.

The number of people in work is at an all time high since records began in 1971. The Office for National Statistics said the employment rose to 29.59 million which is up 212,000.

The number of full-time workers increased by 88,000 to reach 21.45 million. The number of part-time workers increased by 125,000 to reach 8.13 million.

The number of people claiming job-seekers allowance fell by 4,000 to 1.57 million.

Youth unemployment fell by 62,000 to 957,000.

Unemployment fell most in the North East, North West and Wales.

More women are in employment than men and there are over 170,000 less people on out-of-work benefits since the 2010 election.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said - "Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits than in May 2010.

"The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge, which is why we have the £1 billion Youth Contract offering nearly 500,000 work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job."

The news is sure to be welcomed by Chancellor Osborne and comes as inflation (CPI and RPI) was also reported to have fallen along with a rise in earnings and household income. The Office for National Statistics have also said that retail spending is up and tbg. thinks this should continue to grow further with the Christmas shopping season almost upon us.

All signs seem to be pointing toward statistical releases later this month that will show Britain is not in recession and has returned to growth. Or so hope Downing Street.

+UPDATE - 18/OCT/2012+ - Strong retail figures released by ONS.