UK jobless rate hits lowest since 1974 as people quit labor market

A signage of Jobcentre Plus is pictured, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Chester, Britain August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

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LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Britain’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1974 at 3.6% in the three months to July as more people left the labor market including those classified as long-term sickas well as students, official monthly figures showed on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the jobless rate to stay at 3.8%.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people in employment grew by just 40,000 in the May-July period, less than a third of the increase expected by the economists polled by Reuters.

The economic inactivity rate – measuring the share of the population who are not in work and not looking for work – increased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter to 21.7%.

The Bank of England is worried about increasing inactivity in the labor market as it could help to fuel inflation pressures due to a lack of candidates to fill jobs.

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Reporting by William Schomberg; editing by David Milliken

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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