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UK unemployment at 42-year low

Staff Writer |
UK unemployment fell by 75,000 in the three months to July, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.3% from 4.4% in the previous quarter.

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The rate remains at its lowest since 1975, but a squeeze on real incomes continues, according to the Office for National Statistics figures.

Wages in the period were 2.1% up on a year earlier, little changed from the previous months' growth rates.

With inflation hitting 2.9% in August, wages a

e failing to keep up. In real terms, wages dropped by 0.4% in the three months to July.

Matt Hughes, a senior ONS statistician, said: "Another record high employment rate and a record low inactivity rate suggest the labour market continues to be strong.

"In particular, the number of people aged 16 to 64 not in the labour force because they are looking after family or home is the lowest since records began, at less than 2.1 million.

"Despite earnings rising by 2.1% in cash terms over the last year, the real value of people's earnings is down 0.4%."

Inflation has picked up sharply since the pound fell after the Brexit vote last year.

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