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British job market perks up, real wages down


British job market perks up, real wages down


More signs of recovery in the UK job market as fewer Britons claimed unemployment benefit in May than at any time in the last two years.

The number of claimants dropped by 8,600, the seventh straight month it has fallen.

At the same time the UK’s Office for National Statistics released figures showing that using the wider International Labour Organisation measurement, the number of people without a job inched down by 5,000 in the three months period from February to April.

The total was 2.51 million, with the jobless rate holding steady at 7.8 percent of the workforce.

But British workers continue to suffer in earnings terms, with salaries losing ground to inflation.

Average weekly earnings rose 1.3 percent in the three months through April, but consumer price inflation was 2.4 percent.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said employers are cutting wages rather than laying people off and real wages in Britain since 2008 have fallen by more than in any comparable five-year period.

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