British unemployment remains at a 42-year low point

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British unemployment remains at a 42-year low point, official data showed on Wednesday — but wages growth remains far below the overall UK inflation rate, hurting workers’ purchasing power.

The unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent in the quarter to the end of September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That was unchanged from the three months to August, while the rate remained at the lowest rate since 1975.

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year in the three-month period to September, lagging behind Britain’s annual inflation rate of 3.0 percent.

“Consumers continue to face a serious squeeze on purchasing power,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor at the EY ITEM Club research group.

Britain’s Consumer Prices Index 12-month inflation rate held at a five-year high last month as rising food prices offset falling motor fuel costs, the ONS revealed Tuesday.

Wage growth had stood at 2.3 percent in the three months to August.

Inflation has soared this year as a Brexit-hit pound ramped up import costs, which led the Bank of England to raise its key interest rate for the first time in a decade at a meeting earlier this month.

The ONS on Wednesday said that 1.4 million people were unemployed at the end of September — down 182,000 on a year earlier.

At the same time however, the number of people in work has fallen by the largest amount in more than two years.

Employment slid 14,000 in the quarter to September compared with the previous three months, in the largest drop since mid-2015.

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