Dec 17, 6:04 AM EST

UK unemployment rate at 6-year low of 6 percent

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LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show Britain's unemployment rate was 6 percent in the three months to October, its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

That's down on the previous three-month period's 6.2 percent.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that 1.96 million people were unemployed in the quarter, 63,000 less than the previous quarter. That is the smallest quarterly fall in a year.

The agency said average pay including bonuses in the three months to October was 1.4 percent higher than a year earlier. That's more than inflation, which is running at 1 percent, subdued by falling oil prices.

IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer was encouraged by the earnings news but cautioned that the increase was modest, and that "consumers have faced a prolonged squeeze on their purchasing power."

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