UK unemployment fell in run-up to Brexit vote

LONDON – The number of unemployed people in Britain dropped in the three months through June, though not enough to bring down the jobless rate from 4.9 per cent, its lowest level since 2005.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that 52,000 fewer people were unemployed than the previous quarter and 207,000 less than a year earlier.

Average pay was 2.4 per cent higher than a year earlier. That’s more than inflation, which is running at 0.6 per cent.

Most of the period fell before Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union, which has sent uncertainty rippling through the economy.

Analyst Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said “it remains likely that softening economic activity and heightened uncertainty will take a toll on the labour market in the coming months.”