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UK Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1975

The UK jobless rate declined in the first quarter to the lowest since 1974, signaling continuing firming of the labor market, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday.

The ILO jobless rate came in at 3.8 percent in the first quarter, while the rate was expected to remain unchanged at 3.9 percent. The rate has not been lower since last quarter of 1974, the ONS said.

In the three months to March, the number of people who were unemployed decreased by 65,000 to 1.3 million. This was the largest quarterly decrease since September to November 2016.

At the same time, the employment rate came in at 76.1 percent, the joint-highest since comparable records began in 1971. The number of people in employment increased by 99,000 on the quarter to 32.70 million.

Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees increased by 3.3 percent. Including bonuses, weekly earnings climbed 3.2 percent, data showed.

In April, the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowances increased by 24,700 from March.

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