The number of unemployed Britons has fallen to the lowest level in seven years, while average wages grew in real terms, official data showed today. 

The jobless total dipped by 79,000 to 1.77 million people between June and August, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That was the lowest level since the summer of 2008.

The UK unemployment rate - the proportion of the labour force without work - also sank to a seven-year low at 5.4%. That compared with 5.5% in the three months to July.

UK employment meanwhile rose 140,000 to 31 million people, the highest since records began in 1971. 

The ONS also revealed that average earnings including bonuses rose by 3% in the year to August, which was up 0.1 percentage points on the previous month and the highest since May. 

So far this year, inflation has languished close to zero on the back of a fierce supermarket price war, while slumping global oil prices have dragged fuel costs lower. 

"Wages continue to grow strongly in real terms," the ONS said. 

On a downbeat note, the number of people claiming jobless benefits in the UK increased in September by 4,600 to 796,200.