UK unemployment rate drops to 6.8 percent, lowest in 5 years

Britain's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate in five years as the country's economic recovery gathered steam.

The Office of National Statistics said Wednesday that the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent for the first three months of the year, down from 7.2 percent from the previous three month period.

The statistics agency says the increases in employment are mostly due to more self-employed people.

The country's coalition government said the figures were proof that its economic policies were working.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, says ongoing weak pay growth suggests policymakers will be relaxed about maintaining record low interest rates until at least the first quarter of next year.