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UK jobless falls to lowest in five years


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UK jobless falls to lowest in five years

The recovery in Britain’s jobs market appears to be gathering speed as a record number of people found work in the three months to April.

That drove the UK unemployment total to its lowest since early 2009.

The number of people in work surged by 345,000 – the largest amount since records began in 1971.

And the statistics compilers said that was due mainly to people being hired by companies rather than becoming self-employed as has been the case in recent months.

The jobless rate fell to 6.6 percent of the workforce between February and April. In the first three months of this year it had been at 6.8 percent.

The policymakers at the Bank of England however remain cautious. They have said they believe there is room for further growth in the UK economy before they increase the cost of borrowing.

The central bank wants to avoid raising interest rates too early and hurting a recovery which has been slow to take hold compared with other major economies.

Wages overtook inflation in the first quarter of 2014, easing some of the pressure on households which have seen incomes squeezed in recent years. Pay growth lagged inflation for most of the period since 2008.

Living standards have become a key political background ahead of next year’s national elections.

Economists said the weakness of wages in the latest jobs data could help the BoE to keep on providing stimulus to the economy. It has indicated rates could rise in the second quarter of 2015.

with Reuters

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