British unemployment shows biggest drop for three years

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The number of unemployed people in Britain has fallen by the largest amount for three years, official data showed on Wednesday, in a sign that the nation's economic recovery is strengthening.

The jobless total sank by 49,000 in the three months to June to reach 2.457 million people, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That was the biggest quarterly drop since June 2007.

The ONS added that the country's unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent in the three months to the end of June, unchanged from 7.8 percent in the three months to May.

"For now at least, unemployment continues to fall in reaction to the economy's ongoing growth since the fourth quarter of last year," said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer.

Britain's economy expanded by 1.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, the strongest pace since 2006 as the recovery took hold, recent official data showed.

The GDP figure was almost double forecasts for 0.6-percent growth in the April-June period, and built on the economy's modest emergence from a record-length recession in late 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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