More people are in work in Britain than at any time since records began, the latest statistics published this week by the ONS revealed. Put another way, the unemployment rate today of 3.9% is at its lowest level since 1975.After years of stagnating, wages are now outstripping inflation and in the last three months average wages rose by 3.4% to an 11-year high. It’s true that many of these jobs are part-time. Some are on “zero-hours” contracts and are therefore unpredictable and low-paid, but the point is that employment is growing and so is confidence.

This is all fantastic news, and we should celebrate the positive signs. What is not growing, and remains stubbornly low, is the UK’s productivity rate.Yet this is the figure we should be looking at because it means that over the long-term living standards are not going to rise much further than the present small increases.