The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 97,000 to 1.86 million in the three months to December. The unemployment rate now stands at 5.7% of the adult working population, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The ONS said the employment rate, or level of people in work, was 73.2%, its joint highest rate. Average earnings including bonuses were up 2.1% in the quarter compared with a year earlier. Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 1.7%. CPI inflation was 0.5% in December, and new data released on Tuesday showed the rate fell to 0.3% in January, its lowest level since records began. Employment increased by 103,000 to close to 31 million, the highest since records began in 1971. Over the quarter there was also a drop of 19,000, to 4.4 million, in number of people in self-employment.