Employment across the rich world hit a new record high at the start of 2017 with the widespread economic recovery pushing up demand for workers.
A total of 557m people were in work across the 35 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at an employment rate of 67.4pc.
That is the highest number in the study’s 12-year history and compares with a financial crisis-era low of 64.4pc at the end of 2009.
It is also above the pre-crisis high of 66.6pc in early 2008.
The rise in employment is not evenly spread across the 35 member economies. Employment in the UK hit 73.9pc in the first quarter and has risen further since then, up from 71.3pc a decade ago.
By contrast the rate in the US at 68.9pc is down substantially from 72pc in 2007. The lowest rate is Turkey’s 50.9pc followed by Greece’s 52.7pc.
At the other end of the scale 86.9pc of all 15 to 64-year olds in Iceland are employed, followed by 79.4pc in Switzerland.
The participation rate, a measure which includes those who are unemployed as well as those in work but not those who are not seeking a job, shows a similar picture.
It too stands at a record high of 71.8pc, higher than any of the annual numbers in the OECD’s database which goes back to 1964.
The British participation rate is again well above the average at 77.5pc. The US’s rate has edged up in recent years to 73.2pc, though that remains below the rate seen for much of the past 30 years in the country.
Rising employment and labour market participation is a positive sign for the economy, though economists remain puzzled that the improvement has not led to a substantial rise in wages and an uptick in inflation.
“If our second quarter forecasts are right, the global economy has just completed a year of 3.2pc GDP growth, equaling its best performance over the past six years,” said economist Bruce Kasman at JP Morgan.
But while the world is experiencing “strong and clear growth” it is also facing “low and puzzling inflation”, he said.