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UK unemployment falls further


UK unemployment has fallen further between February and April, according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The number of people out of work in those four months fell by 43,000 to 1.18 million as the jobless rate stayed at 5.5%, which is its lowest level since August 2008. The total number of people in employment is now is 31.05 million people, which is 114,000 more than in the previous three month period. The employment rate for women is at its highest ever level of 68.6%.

The unemployment rate for people aged 16-24 still remains higher than any other age range at 16.1 %.

Wage growth has also increased, hitting a four year high. It rose by 2.7% both including and excluding bonuses from February to April.

The government welcomed the ONS figures. Employment Minister Priti Patel said:
"Today's figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people finding jobs and more women in work than ever before."

Many economists have seen wage growth as a sign that interest rates may rise sooner than expected. David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
"The speed in the rise in earnings will embolden a minority on the Monetary Policy Committee who feel the urge to raise rates.”

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