Westminster's Con-Dems crowed over a dip in unemployment figures today but unions warned they could not hide it in the paperwork for long.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 2.53 million people across Britain were out of work in the three months to August - 50,000 down from the previous quarter.
Tory Employment Minister Mark Hoban declared "a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before," citing the raw employment figure of 29.6 million.
As a proportion of population the employment rate is 71.3 per cent, still well below 2008's pre-crisis levels. But Mr Hoban was undeterred.
"Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work."
The rise coincides almost exactly with the period since Con-Dems' launch of unpaid mandatory work placements under the Work Programme in June 2011 - which come under the ONS's definition of employment.
Meanwhile union leaders warned the economic crisis was far from over for Britain's working class.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the government still had to do "much, much better.
"There are still hundreds of thousands of young people without work, over a million people working part-time who want full time-jobs and wages are still trailing below inflation."
His Scottish counterpart Grahame Smith agreed, noting unemployment in Scotland had risen to 8.2 per cent.
"Once again, the statistics provide no cause for optimism that an end to this unprecedented and prolonged slump is in sight.
"Indeed, the coalition's damaging, unnecessary and ultimately self-defeating austerity project practically guarantees that the economic misery currently being visited on the Scottish people will persist for some considerable time."
For Unite general secretary Len McCluskey there was "no room for complacency.
"The economy overall is flatlining, household incomes are being squeezed and demand has been sucked out of the economy.
"The UK is still in recession, so there is nothing for the government to crow about."
Around 1.4 million people were under-employed in part-time jobs, he said.
"People want to work more, but the jobs are not there.
"The government can't expect London and the south-east region to power house the economy and there needs to be a strategy to recalibrate away from the City and service industries."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.
As Britain faces a new housing crisis we can learn from an occasion when tenants banded together to beat their landlord - and won new council housing
Iain Duncan Smith's brainchild came into force at the end of last month. It's bad news for almost everyone