UK unemployment falls to lowest since 2008

The U.K. labor market continued to recover over the summer, with unemployment falling to its lowest since the March to May period in 2008.

The unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent for the three months to August, against 5.5 percent in the three months to July.

In a sign that the improving economy is increasingly reflected in people's pay, wages including bonuses grew 3 percent. A dip in consumer price inflation has also added to consumers' purchasing power.

Last week, the IMF raised its growth forecasts for the U.K. while slashing expectations for the global economy as a whole, on the back of concerns over emerging markets and China. It predicted U.K. growth of 2.5 percent in 2015, and 2.2 percent in 2016, revising its July forecast upwards. In fact, it highlighted the economy as a rare bright spot amid a gloomy global outlook.

The unemployment rate for the European Union (EU) as a whole stood at 9.5 percent of the economically active population for August 2015, the Office for National Statistics said, with the highest unemployment rates for Greece (25.2 percent for June 2015) and Spain (22.2 percent for August 2015. The lowest unemployment rate was for Germany (4.5 percent for August 2015).

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