Arab Times

British unemployme­nt hits seven-year low in Q3: data

BoE’s Carney says will make outcome of EU referendum work


LONDON, Nov 11, (Agencies): Britain’s unemployme­nt rate hit a new seven-year low in the third quarter, while employment struck a record high, official data showed Wednesday.

The rate — the proportion of the labour force without work — for the three months to the end of September slid to 5.3 percent, a level last seen in early 2008.

That compared with 5.4 percent in the three months to the end of August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added in a statement.

The jobless total dipped by 103,000 to 1.75 million people between July and September, which was also a seven-year low.

The number of people in work hit a record high 31.2 million, 419,000 more than a year ago and up by 177,000 over the quarter.

The ONS added however that the number of people claiming jobless benefits increased in October by 3,300 to 7a95,500, rising for the third month in a row.

Also: LONDON: relationsh­ip with the European Union is working but the Bank of England will do whatever is needed to adapt should Britons vote to leave the bloc in a referendum, BoE Governor said on Wednesday.

“Our job is to make whatever the British people decide work,” he told Sky News.

“And there’s a status quo, we’re making that work and we think it is working, but if things change we will do what’s necessary.”

Britain is due to vote before the end of 2017 on whether to stay in the EU, and Carney attracted criticism last month from anti-EU campaigner­s after he delivered an upbeat assessment of membership of the bloc.

On Wednesday he said neither he nor the BoE had an institutio­nal view on whether Britain should stay in the EU.

The central bank has previously said it is making contingenc­y plans in case of financial market turmoil in the run-up to or aftermath of the vote, which does not yet have a date.

Carney also said he had not changed his mind on serving a single five-year term at the bank after speculatio­n that he could stay for longer.

Last week he said it was “far too early” to comment on whether he would stay beyond five years.

The BoE is holding a conference on the future of British financial regulation in London on Wednesday, and Carney said the financial sector had further to go before it commanded public respect, let alone affection.

“Neither I nor my successors will be ‘hugging a banker’. Ultimately we want to get to a point where people can respect bankers,” Carney said, adding in a later BBC interview that he understood the public’s mistrust of banks.

Earlier on Wednesday the chairman of Barclays, who heads an industry lobby group, said a new tax on banks posed a long-term threat to Britain’s attractive­ness to the financial sector.

There’s the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates — which poses a deep test to economies worldwide. There’s Europe’s migration crisis. And not to be forgotten is Britain’s threat to leave the eurozone when the region’s economy is already frail.

That’s all on top of slow global economic growth and climate change.

In an interview with AFP, Obstfeld, an economic advisor to US President Barack Obama before being named to the IMF, spoke of a “nightmare scenario” in which various pressures conspire to weaken the economic bonds of Europe.

“I worry a lot about the strong trend in Europe to pull back from market integratio­n,” he said.

“One factor is the refugee crisis, where there’s a lot of pressure on open borders

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