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Britain's unemployment rate drops to 5.3 percent, a 7 year low


LONDON — Britain's unemployment rate has dropped to 5.3 percent in the three months ending in September, the lowest level in seven years.

The Office of National Statistics says the rate is down from 5.6 percent from in the April to June period and 6.0 percent a year earlier. Britain's government cheered the news, arguing that the figures prove its economic plan is working.

Dr John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist, says that most of the rise in employment was due to an increase in part-time jobs.

UniCredit's lead U.K. economist, Daniel Vernazza, says he believes that weaker-than-expected earnings growth is likely to prove temporary as a range of measures suggest the labor market is tightening. He says "slack in the labor market has all but been used up."

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