In the three months to February this year, the unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent, down from 5.1 per cent a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It has not been lower since June to August 1975, when Billie Jean King won the last of her Wimbledon tennis titles and the Bay City Rollers were at the top of the music charts.
In the ONS figures published this morning, the jobless total was cut by 45,000 in the three months to February to 1.56 million, a reduction of 141,000 since a year ago and the lowest since the end of 2006.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6 per cent, the joint highest since records began in 1971.
Unemployment rate is lowest since Billie Jean King won Wimbledon & Bay City Rollers were No.1
- PM urged to echo Britain's post-war government with Brexit shake-up
- Douglas Carswell sparks fresh fury by claiming Ukip should ‘disband'
The total number of people in work continued to increase to 31.8million – up by 39,000 from September to November last year.
Job vacancies were up by 16,000 to a record 767,000, with strong growth in accommodation and food services sectors.
The number of self-employed workers, recently the focus of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s now-scrapped tax rises, has increased by 17,000 to 4.78 million, 15 per cent of all people in work, and close to a record high.
The ONS also reported a shift in part-time to full-time employment.
Average earnings increased by 2.3 per cent in the year to February, unchanged from the previous month.
This prompted warnings of a squeeze on wages due to the increased rate of inflation following the fall in the value of pound sterling as a result of last summer’s Brexit vote.
More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green
Damian Green, the Work and Pensions Secretary, hailed today’s record-equalling employment figures.
He said: “This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before.
“More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again, meaning more families have the security of a regular wage.
“However, there is always more to do. That’s why we’re creating a welfare system that rewards work through Universal Credit, which helps claimants keep more of the money they earn.”
Senior ONS statistician David Freeman said: "A joint record employment rate and a new record high for the number of vacancies point to continued strength in the labour market.
"However, higher inflation, coupled with subdued earnings increases, means that the real growth rate in pay has tailed off to just above zero."
The most dangerous jobs in the world Wed, May 25, 2016
Do you think your day job is scary or extreme? Take a look through some of the world's most dangerous jobs from Venom milkers to extreme weather storm chasers.
Play slideshow Getty Images 1 of 16
Crocodile keepers have to handle these dangerous animals and be wary of any change in behaviour
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron seized on the signs of a wage squeeze as he fights against Britain leaving the EU’s Single Market.
He said: “Workers are now suffering a real fall in living standards. This is not a claim, it is a fact, and the blame lies firmly at the doors of Downing Street.
“The economy has been kept on the life support machine of consumer credit, but people are now clearly in the vice-like grip of a Brexit squeeze.
“A falling pound and rising prices are depressing sales, and wages simply can’t keep pace with inflation.
“Even at this late hour the Conservative Brexit government could steer the economy away from the rocks by announcing it wants Britain to remain in the Single Market.”
“Philip Hammond knows what has to be done, and it is about time he laid it on the line to the Prime Minister.”