LONDON – Unemployment in the UK unexpectedly fell between December and February, according to new data released by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.
The headline unemployment rate, which measures the percentage of the British workforce who want a job but don’t have one, fell from 4.3% to 4.2%, marking a second consecutive month of a dropping headline jobless rate.
There were 1.42 million unemployed people in the UK over the period, according to the ONS. That marks a decrease of 16,000 from September to November 2017.
There was also good news for wage growth, with wages growing at 2.8% over the period. That’s higher than the rate of inflation, which was 2.7% at the most recent reading. The figures mean that UK workers are now getting a small real wage rise on average.
“The labour market continues to be strong, and for the first time in almost a year, earnings have grown slightly after inflation has been taken into account,” senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said in a statement.
“Employment rose again in the three months to February, to reach its highest ever rate since records began. The unemployment rate fell, too, and is at its lowest since 1975.”
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