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Unemployment levels fall to eight-year low as wage growth diminishes

26 Jan 2016

Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to an eight-year low, its lowest rate in over a decade, but data reveals that wage growth has also slowed.

The unemployment rate fell to 1.68 million during the quarter to November, which helped to reduce the overall rate to 5.1%, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Employment figures also reached a high of 74%.

The ONS data also revealed that nearly 23 million people currently have a full-time job, up by 436,000 compared to a year earlier. Additionally, some 8.4 million are working part-time.

However, average weekly earnings were only up by a total of 2% in the three months to November, which was below the 2.4% growth recorded previously. Pay growth, excluding bonuses, came in at 1.9%.

Analysts had expected a 2.1% rate of growth.

The decline in wage growth was highlighted by the Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney, who cited the slump as a reason to keep interest rates at their low level of 0.5%.

The Bank stated that it needs more evidence that wage growth is rising and helping to reduce inflation levels before it will consider increasing interest rates.