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British unemployment rate falls under 7.0%

British unemployment has hit a five-year low of 6.9 percent, far below most of its European rivals, as the nation's economic recovery picks up speed a year before general elections. The rate for the period beginning December through February compares with 7.2 percent for the quarter ending January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. The drop beat analysts' consensus forecast of a retreat to 7.1 percent. "The UK labour market is improving and improving fast," said Daniel Vernazza, economist at UniCredit Research.

British unemployment rate drops below 7.0%

Britain's unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low point of 6.9 percent in the quarter to February, as the country's economic recovery picks up speed before next year's general election. The rate dropped from 7.2 percent in the quarter to January, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, while the fall was bigger than expected with analysts forecasting a drop to 7.1 percent.

Words, charts, numbers all fail Fed: James Saft

(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own) By James Saft (Reuters) - Since neither words, nor charts nor numbers seem capable of expressing when the Fed will raise interest rates, perhaps they need to adopt some new kind of symbol. What's the symbol for "The first day of never"? Didn't Prince already use that? Seriously, the Federal Reserve seems most comfortable with that which expresses the least specific meaning.

Surprise fall in Australian unemployment

Australian unemployment fell below 6.0 percent in March, official data revealed Thursday, surprising analysts who had expected a higher figure and raising hopes that the jobless rate may have peaked. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said unemployment dropped from a revised 6.1 percent in February to 5.8 percent aided by a 40,200 lift in part-time positions, which offset a fall in full-time jobs. "The number of people employed increased by 18,100 to 11,553,200 in March," the bureau said.

U.S. job openings hit six-year high in February

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job openings jumped to their highest in six years in February and there was a significant decline in layoffs, more signs of a steadily improving labor market. Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased 299,000 to a seasonally adjusted 4.17 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday. That was the highest level since January 2008.

A tale of 2 employment surveys, covering US households and businesses, at a glance

The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, a respectable gain that would typically be enough to lower the unemployment rate. Yet the rate was unchanged at 6.7 per cent. Why did the unemployment rate remain the same if the job gain was solid? Because the government conducts one survey to learn how many jobs were created and another to determine the unemployment rate. The two surveys can sometimes produce differing results.

Canada youth find work, push down jobless rate to 6.9%

Canada's jobless rate fell slightly in March as some youth who have struggled to break into the labor market managed to secure work, the government's statistics agency said Friday. Statistics Canada said employment for those aged 15 to 24 rose by 33,000 in the month. But the overall youth unemployment rate remained unchanged at 13.6 percent -- nearly double the national average -- as more young people joined the search for that elusive first paycheck.

US employers added 192,000 jobs in March; unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7 per cent

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers added jobs at a solid pace in March in the latest sign that the economy is rebounding from a weak stretch brought on by a harsh winter. The Labor Department says employers added 192,000 jobs, slightly below February's total of 197,000. Employers also added a combined 37,000 more jobs in February and January than previously estimated.

QuickStats: Facts and figures about employment in Canada in month of March

OTTAWA - A quick look at March unemployment (previous month in brackets): Unemployment rate: 6.9 per cent (7.0) Employment rate: 61.7 per cent (61.6) Labour force participation rate: 66.2 per cent (66.2) Number unemployed: 1,325,400 (1,343,100) Number working: 17,833,200 (17,790,300) Youth (15-24 years) unemployment: per cent 13.6 (13.6) Men (25 plus) unemployment: per cent 6.1 (6.3) Women (25 plus) unemployment: per cent 5.4 (5.4)

QuickStats: Facts and figures about employment in Canada in month of March

OTTAWA - A quick look at March unemployment (previous month in brackets): Unemployment rate: 6.9 per cent (7.0) Employment rate: 61.7 per cent (61.6) Labour force participation rate: 66.2 per cent (66.2) Number unemployed: 1,325,400 (1,343,100) Number working: 17,833,200 (17,790,300) Youth (15-24 years) unemployment: per cent 13.6 (13.6) Men (25 plus) unemployment: per cent 6.1 (6.3) Women (25 plus) unemployment: per cent 5.4 (5.4)
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