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UK unemployment falls by 132,000 to reach 2.08 million

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Unemployment in the UK fell by 132,000 to 2.08 million in the three months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The unemployment rate now stands at 6.4 per cent, down 0.2 percentage points from April to June 2014 and down 1.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

The ONS said the number of people in employment increased by 167,000 on the quarter and by 820,000 on the year to reach 30.60 million for April to June 2014.

Average pay including bonuses for the quarter was 0.2 per cent lower than a year earlier, though pay excluding bonuses grew by 0.6 per cent.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The general trend is one of wage growth below the rate of inflation.

“Impovements in productivity are the key to solving this problem. If wages were to rise without an associated increase in productivity, more money will be chasing the same quantity of goods and services in the economy and inflation will result. If productivitiy increases, wages can rise by the same amount without causing inflation.

“Increases in productivity are therefore the only source of real wage growth over the long term.”

Some 73 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 are in work. 


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