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UK Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1975; Wage Growth Exceeds Expectations


The UK unemployment rate remained unchanged at the lowest since 1975 and wages growth exceeded expectations amid record vacancies, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.

The unemployment rate came in at 4 percent in three months to July, according to labor force survey. This was the lowest rate since February 1975 and in line with economists' expectations.

The number of unemployed decreased by 95,000 from a year ago to 1.36 million.

At the same time, the employment rate rose to 75.5 percent in the three months to July from 75.3 percent in the previous year.

Data showed that average earnings including bonuses grew 2.6 percent annually, faster than the expected 2.5 percent.

Similarly, excluding bonuses, earnings rose 2.9 percent versus 2.8 percent increase economists had forecast.

Real regular pay, after adjusting for consumer price inflation, gained 0.5 percent and total pay increased 0.2 percent.

There were 833,000 job vacancies in the three months to August, the highest since comparable records began in 2001.

Further, data showed that in August, the claimant count rate rose to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent in July. A similar high rate was last seen in November 2014. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased 8,700 from July.

As an indicator of the health of occupier markets, today's employment data are rather stronger than they appear at first sight, Ed Stansfield, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The economist said the recent moderation in job creation is unlikely to be the start of a protracted stagnation in the labor market.

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