UK unemployment rate drops

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Britain's unemployment rate has dropped sharply to 7.1 percent in the three months ending in November, edging closer to the point at which the Bank of England will consider raising interest rates.

The Office of National Statistics said Wednesday the unemployment rate is down 0.5 percentage points from June to August 2013 and down 0.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

Governor Mark Carney has said the bank will reassess its policy when the unemployment rate hits 7 percent.

The rate has since then dropped quickly as Britain enjoys one of the stronger recoveries in Europe. But Carney has insisted that the bank will not act automatically when the threshold is reached.

Minutes released by the Bank of England suggest that policymakers are united, voting unanimously to keep policies unchanged.

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