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UK Unemployment Rate Worsen By 3.8%

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Britain’s unemployment rate dipped in the final quarter of last year but wage growth eased as the country’s inflation stayed elevated, official data showed Tuesday.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in the three months to the end of November, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

The 3.9-percent rate had been revised down from an initial reading of 4.2 percent in ONS data published last week. The statistics office on Tuesday cautioned that the data remained volatile.

“It is clear that employment growth has slowed over the past year,” ONS director of economic statistics, Liz McKeown, said in the latest release.

“Over the same period, the proportion of people neither working nor looking for work has risen, with historically high numbers of people saying they are long-term sick.”

The ONS added that UK average regular earnings growth eased to 6.2 percent in the final quarter of last year.

“It’s good news that real wages are on the up for the sixth month in a row and unemployment remains low, but the job isn’t done,” Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said in reaction.

“Our tax cuts are part of a plan to get people back to work so we can grow the economy – but we must stick with it.”

Analysts are forecasting the government to trim taxes further ahead of a general election due this year.

The Conservative party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, trails far behind the main opposition Labour in the polls and tax cuts are seen as a chance to close the gap.


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