British unemployment rate reaches decade low

London, March 17 (IANS) The British jobless rate lowered to 5.1 percent between November 2015 and January 2016, reaching the lowest in nearly 10 years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

There were 1.68 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 28,000 fewer than for August to October 2015 and 171,000 fewer than for a year earlier, the ONS said on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.1 percent, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Some 31.42 million people are in work, 116,000 more than for August to October 2015 and 478,000 more than for a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.1 percent including bonuses and by 2.2 percent excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.

Spanish stock market falls

Madrid, March 17 (IANS) The Spanish stock market index Ibex-35 fell 0.28 percent to close at 8,962.80 points, down from the 8,988.30 points of the previous session.

Banco Santander led falls losing 2.36 percent, followed by Caixabank, Iberdrola, Acciona, BBVA, OHL, Banco Sabadell and Gas Natural that lost 1.47 percent, 1.18 percent, 1.09 percent, 0.61 percent, 0.44 percent, 0.41 percent and 0.38 percent respectively on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

IAG shares led rises climbing 2.49 percent, followed by Bankia, Sacyr, Mapfre, Indra A, Mediaset, DIA and Gamesa that rose 2.07 percent, 1.82 percent, 1.55 percent, 1.41 percent, 1.26 percent, 0. 93 percent and 0.91 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, Spain’s risk premium closed at 119 points, slightly below the 120.60 points of Tuesday.

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