Corrects headline and intro
The UK unemployment rate declined in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday.
The jobless rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 4.8 percent in the first quarter. This was also below economists’ forecast of 4.9 percent.
At the same time, the employment rate was estimated at 75.2 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter.
Data showed that annual growth in average earnings, including bonuses, came in at 4.0 percent, but below the economists’ forecast of 4.5 percent.
Excluding bonuses, average earnings increased 4.6 percent annually, in line with expectations.
In April, the claimant count rate held steady at 7.2 percent. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits decreased by 15,100 from March.
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