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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
UK sees unemployment total fall
Man looking for a job
The latest figures should calm fears over inflation
The number of unemployed people in the UK fell in the three months to April, according to official figures, dropping by 15,000 to 1.68 million.

The figures also showed that the number claiming jobseeker's allowance was down by 9,300 to 880,400 in May.

Average earnings rose by 4% on an annual basis - below forecasts - in the three months to April, down from 4.4% in the January to March period.

The earnings data should calm fears of wages stoking inflation, analysts said.

'Encouraging'

Earnings growth for the period was the slowest since December, largely because Christmas bonuses were not included in the period.

Underlying earnings growth - excluding bonuses - remained constant at just 3.6%.

"These are very encouraging figures for the Bank of England, indicating that wage growth is still one inflationary dog that isn't biting," said Global Insight analyst Howard Archer.

Analysts had expected earnings growth to be about 4.5%.




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