LONDON (SHARECAST) - The UK jobs market is proving remarkably resilient, with latest figures showing another fall in unemployment.
The number of people out of work fell by 50,000 between June and August to 2.53m.
This put the unemployment rate at 7.9%, down 0.2% from the March to May figure.
Most analysts had expected the figure from the Office of National Statistics to remain steady at 8.1%.
Dr Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS, said the figures marked "another set of impressively resilient and healthy labour market data which gives a lift to recovery hopes".
However, he added that the employment figures were being propped up by ongoing restrained earnings growth as well as significant increases in part-time jobs and self-employment.
"In addition, it is likely that many companies are hoarding labour especially to keep hold of skilled and experienced workers," he said.
The number of people in full-time employment increased by 88,000, while the number of people in part-time employment jumped again, posting a 125,000 rise.
This brought the total number of people in jobs to a record high of 29.6m.
But Blerina Uruci, an analyst at Barclays Capital, said that compared with the same period in 2007, the number of people in full time employment had fallen by 355,000.
Meanwhile part-time employment had increased by 724,000.
Total pay including bonuses rose by 1.7% and regular pay excluding bonuses rose by 2%, largely in line with expectations.
Total pay in the private sector rose by 1.9%, while regular pay rose by 2.1%.
Total pay in the public sector (excluding financial services) rose by 2.4%, while regular pay in the public sector rose by 2.3%.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for September was 1.57m, down 4,000 from August and down 21,800 on a year earlier.
This was better than expected, with forecasts pointing to the claimant count remaining steady.