Monday, March 4

UK labor market exodus drives jobless rate down to 3.5%

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LONDON — Britain’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1974 at 3.5% in the three months to August, but the drop was driven by a record jump in the number of people leaving the labor market.

The number of people classed as inactive – neither in work nor looking for it – rose by 252,000 from the three months to May, the biggest such increase since records began in 1971, the Office for National Statistics said.

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The Bank of England is worried that Britain’s shrinking labor market will add to inflation pressures.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the jobless rate to remain at 3.6%. (Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Andy Bruce)