UK unemployment rate dips to new 45-year low

File: Being affected by Brexit would not necessarily mean workers were laid off, the economists noted.

FILE: The British unemployment rate has declined to 3.8 percent. 

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LONDON - British unemployment has hit a fresh 45-year low, official data showed Tuesday in a mixed labour market snapshot before a UK general election and Brexit.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent in the three months to September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That was the lowest level since the final quarter of 1974, and compared with 3.9 percent in the three months to August 2019.

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At the same time, the ONS said the number of people in work declined by 58,000 to 32.75 million in the quarter. That was the heaviest quarterly fall since May 2015.

"The latest jobs data are a mixed bunch but overall show a softening trend, indicating that the labour market is now undeniably faltering in the face of overall soft domestic economic activity, a weakening global economy and heightened Brexit and domestic political uncertainties," said EY Item Club economist Howard Archer.