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UK employment falls, jobless rate unchanged, wages rise

UK employment falls, jobless rate unchanged, wages rise
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Some signs of weakness are emerging on the jobs front in Britain.

The labour market appears to have flattened off in recent months

David Freeman Office for National Statistics

For the three months to October the unemployment rate stayed at 4.8 percent of the workforce and basic pay rose but the number of people with jobs fell for first time in more than a year.

The total was down by 6,000 at 31.76 million – the first decline since the second quarter of last year.

That suggests the labour market is slowing following the referendum vote for Britain to leave the European Union.

The number of those registered as unemployed in the UK also fell – by 16,000 to 1.62 million – as fewer people sought work.

The jobless rate is widely expected to rise next year with companies delaying hiring as they wait for more clarity on the country’s future links to the EU, something which could take years to be negotiated.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics, which compiles the figures, said the number of unemployment benefit claimants rose by 2,400 in November and by 13,300 in October, more than previously though.

A rise in benefits claimants is considered to be a potential early warning sign of an economic downturn.

“The labour market appears to have flattened off in recent months. While the employment rate remains high, it is slightly down on the record set recently,” ONS statistician David Freeman said.

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