British official unemployment rate drops to 7.7%

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Britain's unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 7.7 percent in the first quarter from 7.8 percent during the final three months of 2010, official data showed on Wednesday.

Market expectations had been for a reading of 7.8 percent between January and March, according to economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

The Office for National Statistics added that the number of unemployed in Britain fell by 36,000 to 2.46 million people in the first quarter.

It added that the number of people claiming benefits increased by 12,400 between March and April to reach 1.47 million.

© 2011 AFP

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