The private sector’s share of employment in the South East grew to 63.4% from May to July, a rise of 1.2% year on year.
Businesses employ 3,393,000 people in the South East, an increase of 48,000 on the same period in 2012.
The rise in the South East is higher than the national average of 59.1%, an increase of 0.7%.
However the region is still behind pre-recession levels for the same period in 2008, when private sector employment stood at 65.1%.
By contrast, public sector employment fell by 7,000 to nearly 656,000 in the South East, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Government says the figures show its plan to boost private sector employment is working.
Business Minister and Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon said: “The figures published today show our efforts to rebalance the economy toward the private sector continue to bear fruit, with private sector employment for this quarter now at its highest level since 2009.
“This is welcome news but we must not be complacent.
“Through the industrial strategy we are working with businesses across the country to put in place the best conditions to foster growth and create jobs.
“And from next April the new £2,000 Employment Allowance will effectively remove the tax on jobs for around 450,000 businesses.”