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Britain's jobless queue shrinks to 11-year low

The unemployment rate had stood at 5.1 percent in the three months to March, which had also been a near 11-year low.

Published: 15th June 2016 03:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2016 03:52 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

LONDON: Britain's unemployment rate dipped to 5.0 percent in the three months to April, the lowest level since 2005, official data showed on Wednesday.

The unemployment rate had stood at 5.1 percent in the three months to March, which had also been a near 11-year low, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

The ONS added that the unemployment total dropped to 1.67 million people in the quarter to April.

Britain's economic data is being watched closely by all sides ahead of next week's referendum, with polls pointing to a strong possibility that the country could back an exit from the European Union.

"Some unexpected good news amidst Brexit-related uncertainty -- the UK labour market remains in good health despite a wider economic slowdown ahead of the referendum," said Ben Brettell, senior economist at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown.

"The economy continues to add jobs, and wage growth is running ahead of consumer price inflation, which held steady (in a release) yesterday at 0.3 percent. Today's data will go some way to allay fears that businesses have been delaying decisions about hiring and investment until after the EU vote," Brettell added.

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