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Britain's unemployment rate falls to another record low

16 August 2017

Unemployment rate drops to 4.4% from 4.5%, marking its lowest level since comparable records begin in the 1970s. Employment rate hits a new record high of 75.1%. However, real wage growth declines, with wages growing just 2.1% against inflation of 2.6%. LONDON — Unemployment in the UK dropped to a new low in July, but real wage growth continued to fall as the impact of post-Brexit vote inflation hits the average British household, according to the latest numbers from the Office for National Statistics.

Headline unemployment dropped from 4.5% to 4.4% during the month, beating expectations that the rate would remain unchanged. In real terms, that means 57,000 fewer unemployed people in country in the month.

“Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.1%, both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier, the ONS said.

Inflation is currently running at 2.6%, meaning that wage growth, in real terms, fell by 0.5%, as the amount people earn cannot keep up with the rise in the price of their household expenditures.

“The employment picture remains strong, with a new record high employment rate and another fall in the unemployment rate. Despite the strong jobs picture, however, real earnings continue to decline,” Matt Hughes, a senior labour market statistician at the ONS said in a statement.

Employment also hit a new high, the ONS said, with 32.07 million people in employment in the UK, a rate of 75.1% and the highest since records began.

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