UK unemployment at lowest rate for 48 years

The UK’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1974 in the three months to July, latest official figures show.

The jobless rate fell to 3.6% over the period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the squeeze on pay remains, with rises in regular pay failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

When taking the rise in prices into account, the value of regular pay fell by 2.8%, the ONS said.

Inflation – a measure of price rises – remains at a 40 year high of 10.1%. The latest inflation figure, due out on Wednesday, is forecast to be higher.

One reason for the fall in the unemployment rate is a rise in the number of people who are no longer looking for work, and so not counted in the figure. The inactivity rate rose to 21.7%, the highest since 2017.

Other measures suggested that the jobs market might be beginning to turn. The employment rate and the number of vacancies fell slightly in the latest figures.

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