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UK unemployment rate drops to 7.1% fueling an increase in speculation that interest rates could rise

22 January 2014
by Paul Francis

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to 7.1%, according to figures released earlier today - the biggest ever quarterly increase in employment.

However, the figures could spell bad news for some homeowners as the figures have increased speculation that the Bank of England could be poised to raise interest rates from the current record low of 0.5%. 

The drop in the number of people out of work was bigger than analysts had expected

Mark Carney, the Bank’s Governor, has previously said that unemployment falling to 7% would trigger a review of the interest rate levels.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of those jobless fell by 167,000  between September and November, to  2.32 million.

The figures also highlighted:

The employment rate in was highest in the South East (76.1%) and lowest in the North East (67.6%)

The unemployment rate was highest in the North East (10.3%) and lowest in the South East (5.3%)

The Claimant Count rate was highest in the North East (6%) and lowest in the South East (2.2%).

Nationally, the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 24,000 to 1.25 million. Meanwhile, average earnings increased by 0.9% in the year to November. This figure was unchanged on the previous month.

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