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UK jobless rate falls to lowest level since 1975

Posted March 15

— Britain's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1975 as the economy continues to show resilience despite the uncertainty accompanying Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in the three months through January, from 4.8 percent in the quarter through December.

Earnings growth, however, slowed to 2.3 percent annually from 2.6 percent in December, reinforcing a squeeze on consumers from rising inflation.

Chris Williamson, economist at IHS Markit, says cooling wage growth adds "warning shots that the economy is slowing."

The ONS says a record 4.8 million people are now self-employed, up by 148,000 over the past year, representing 15.1 percent of the total workforce.

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