Comparing the estimates for October to December 2014 with those for July to September 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
There were 1.86 million unemployed people. This was 97,000 fewer than for July to September 2014 and 486,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
The unemployment rate was 5.7%, lower than for July to September 2014 (6.0%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.2%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
There were 9.05 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 22,000 more than for July to September 2014 and 6,000 more than for a year earlier.
The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (the inactivity rate) was 22.3%, virtually unchanged compared with July to September 2014 and with a year earlier.
There were 30.90 million people in work. This was 103,000 more than for July to September 2014 and 608,000 more than for a year earlier.
The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.2%, higher than for July to September 2014 (73.0%) and for a year earlier (72.0%). The employment rate last reached 73.2% in December 2004 to February 2005 and, since comparable records began in 1971, it has never been higher.