Unemployment Rate Falls

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Unemployment rate falls to 4.3% as wages stagnate

UK unemployment fell by 75,000 in the three months to July, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.3% from 4.4% in the previous quarter.

The rate remains at its lowest since 1975, but a squeeze on real incomes continues, according to the Office for National Statistics figures.

Wages in the period were 2.1% up on a year earlier, little changed from the previous months’ growth rates. With inflation hitting 2.9% in August, wages are failing to keep up.

In real terms, wages have fallen by 0.4% over the last year.

Employment minister Damian Hinds said: “The strength of the economy is helping people of all ages find work, from someone starting their first job after leaving education, to those who might be starting a new career later in life.”

Economists have been pondering what the latest data means for the course of interest rates. The sluggish figures on wage growth were blamed for a fall in value of the pound against the dollar.

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