The rate of unemployment has fallen again and now stands at 7.8%, according to the ONS.
Total unemployment stood at 2.45 million for the three months to January, down 33,000 on the previous quarter.
However, long-term unemployment, based on those out of work for more than a year, rose by 61,000 to 687,000.
Additionally the number of people in work actually fell in the quarter, by 54,000 to 28.86 million.
The ONS said unemployment and employment were both falling because of a rising number of people being classed as economically 'inactive', including students and those on long term sick leave as well as those who have simply stopped looking for work.
The figures received cautious endorsement from the main political parties.
Mark Bolsom, head of the UK trading desk at Travelex, says: "The unexpected fall in the claimant count figure is good news. It will certainly offer the Government some much needed relief after yesterday's challenges from the European Commission.
"In the short-term, investors are more likely to see this data as a positive step in the UK's economic recovery."
Sterling rose following the news, rising 1.01% against the euro to 1.1152 and 1.01% against the dollar to $1.5370.
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