ADVERTISEMENT
News » Money
Apr 16, 6:22 AM EDT

UK unemployment falls below 7 percent as earnings growth outstrips inflation

World Video

Photo Gallery
Animal census at the London Zoo
Latest News from Britain
British officials looking into killing of 18-year-old in Syria

UK opposition Labour Party signs up top Obama campaign adviser Axelrod for 2015 elections

North Korea asks British government to act over barber's Kim Jong Un 'Bad Hair Day?' poster

Ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson acknowledges he heard hacked voicemails in 2004

UK lawmakers: Complacency, lax security contributed to deaths in Taliban attack on UK-US camp

Former chairman of UK's beleaguered Co-op Bank charged with drug possession

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
US stocks edge mostly higher amid wave of earnings; GE and Morgan Stanley rise

How the Dow Jones industrial average and other major stock indexes fared Thursday

Travelzoo, Morgan Stanley, Mattel, Barnes & Noble and IBM are big market movers

US stocks edge mostly higher amid wave of earnings; GE and Morgan Stanley rise

Technology stocks lead an early decline in Wall Street after Google, IBM earnings disappoint

China's cheap factories face new challenge as economic growth inexorably slows

French premier vows to cut $29 billion in pensions, health and social care by 2017

Russian economic slows sharply amid Ukraine tensions, but Putin seen undeterred

UK unemployment falls below 7 percent as earnings growth outstrips inflation

China's economic growth slows to 7.4 percent, raising risk of job losses, impact on trade

Interactives
Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's unemployment rate has fallen below 7 percent for the first time in five years, with earnings growth narrowly outstripping inflation for the first time since 2010.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that 2.24 million people were unemployed in the three months to February, a rate of 6.9 percent. That compares with 7.2 percent in the previous quarter.

Average earnings grew by 1.7 percent in the year to February, exceeding the rate of inflation, which was 1.6 percent at last count, in March. Stripping out bonuses, however, earnings growth was a more modest 1.4 percent.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the figures were evidence Britain's economic recovery was becoming "embedded."

The drop in unemployment may increase pressure on the Bank of England to consider raising its benchmark interest rate from a record-low 0.5 percent.

Until earlier this year the bank had said its key interest rate would remain on hold until joblessness fell to 7 percent. After the unemployment rate fell faster than expected, bank governor Mark Carney broadened the forward guidance policy to include other economic indicators such as wage growth and productivity.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said that the economic figures were encouraging, but youth unemployment remained "much too high" at 19.1 percent, and there were more than 800,000 people who have been unemployed for more than a year.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

 
ADVERTISEMENT