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UK Employment Falls In Q3

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The UK labor market remained weak in the third quarter as employment and vacancies declined notably ahead of general election.

The employment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 76 percent in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday. Employment declined by 58,000 to 32.75 million in the third quarter.

The number of vacancies declined by 53,000 annually, which was the strongest fall since late 2009.

The ILO unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in the third quarter from 3.9 percent in the preceding period. Unemployment decreased by 23,000 to 1.31 million.

Average earnings including as well as excluding bonus, increased 3.6 percent each in the third quarter. This was slower than the expected 3.8 percent.

In October, the claimant count rose to 3.4 percent in October from 3.3 percent in September. A similar higher rate was last seen in February 2014.

At the same time, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased by 33,000 in October from the previous month, which was above than the expected level of 24,200.

The figures appear to illustrate that demand for labor is easing, but no sharp downturn which is a relief following disappointing GDP growth in the third quarter and downbeat activity surveys, Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

With forward-looking hiring indicators deteriorating, and given the risk that Brexit uncertainty persists into 2020, there is a clear risk the jobs market deteriorates further over coming months, James Smith, an ING economist said.

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