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Britain's jobless rate falls to 4-1/2 year low

Britain's jobless rate falls to 4-1/2 year low
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Britain’s unemployment rate has plunged to its lowest level in four-and-a-half years.

It was at 7.4 percent of the workforce in the three months to October, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was down from 7.6 percent in the three-month reading taken one month earlier.

The number of people in work jumped by a quarter of a million, the biggest increase since the summer of 2010.

Asked about the figures Ross Walker, senior economist at RBS said: “They’re very, very strong – the underlying trend looks robust.”

However many British workers are not seeing an improvement in living standards as average weekly earnings growth showed minimal improvement.

Bank of England threshold nears

The jobless rate is approaching the Bank of England’s threshold for considering a hike in interest rates at a far greater speed than expected.

The UK central bank has said that assuming no inflation surprises it will not consider interest raising rates until the unemployment rate falls to at least 7 percent.

Bank Governor Mark Carney declined to comment on the latest figures when questioned about them at a news conference on the introduction of plastic banknotes for Britain.

As the recovery has picked up speed, Carney has stressed that unemployment hitting 7 percent would not be an automatic trigger for a rate hike from record low levels, and that the recovery needs to deepen before stimulus can be rolled back.

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