UK unemployment drops to 1.49m

UK unemployment fell by 64,000 to 1.49 million in the three months to May, official figures show. It meant the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1975, at 4.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added. But wage increases continued to fall further behind inflation. Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.0% year-on-year. However, inflation had hit an almost four-year high of 2.9% in May. “Despite the strong jobs picture… there has been another real-terms fall in total earnings, with the growth in weekly wages low and inflation still rising,” said Matt Hughes, senior statistician at the Office for National Statistics.