The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to 7.4% in the three months to October, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics revealed the country's jobless rate fell by 0.3% from May to July 2013 and dropped 0.5% when compared to a year earlier.

The research body also said the unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds was 20.5% for August to October 2013, down 0.5% from May to July 2013.

The data means the jobless rate has edged closer to the Bank of England's 7% forward guidance threshold, set by its governor Mark Carney.

The figures showed there were 2.39 million unemployed people over the period, down 99,000 from May to July 2013 and down 121,000 from a year earlier.

In addition, the employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was up 0.4% from May to July 2013, and up 0.8 from a year earlier.

The data found there were a record 30.09 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 250,000 from May to July 2013 and up 485,000 from a year earlier.

The ONS also said the inactivity rate is down 0.1% from May to July 2013 and down 0.4% from a year earlier.

The research body explained there were 8.92 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 45,000 from May to July 2013 and down 156,000 from a year earlier.

The research also revealed that total pay rose by 0.9% compared with August to October 2012 and regular pay rose by 0.8% over the same period.

Mark Beatson, chief economist, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: "The headline in today's figures is that UK employment has passed 30 million for the first time ever, with employment having increased by nearly half a million over the latest 12 month period covered by these figures."

John Salt, website director, added: "It is now undeniable that we are seeing a recovery as there is economic stimulus beyond the traditionally healthy services sector as the manufacturing and construction sectors are also displaying solid growth."