The latest labour market figures published on 18 February are another set of very positive numbers with a large rise in employment in the quarter.
The employment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points over the quarter, to 76.5%.
Vacancies (in the Office for National Statistics survey of the whole economy) rose slightly this month, to 810,000. As the number of vacancies is quite volatile, and frequently revised, the Office for National Statistics uses a three-month average.
The number of people inactive owing to long-term sickness has flattened off, while the benefit figures are showing sharper rises (with data some months behind).
This chart shows claimants of Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit planning for work and those with no work requirements (both out of work) (the orange dots), compared with survey figures for the economically inactive owing to long-term sickness.
The number of out of work young people who are not in full-time education (962,000) has fallen in the past quarter by 36,000 , or 3.6%. The fall was largely among the inactive, with the number of unemployed young people not in full-time education or training falling at a lower rate.