Investing.com - The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.K. declined more-than-expected in July, while the country's jobless rate fell to the lowest level since December 2008, official data showed on Wednesday.
In a report, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that the claimant count fell by a seasonally adjusted 33,600 last month, compared to expectations for a decline of 30,000 people. June's figure was revised to a drop of 39,500 people from a previously reported decline of 36,300.
The report also showed that the rate of unemployment declined to 6.4% in the three months to June, in line with expectations and down from 6.5% in the three months to May.
Meanwhile, the average earnings index, including bonuses, fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the three months to June, compared to expectations for a 0.1% decline, after rising by 0.4% in the three months to May.
Excluding bonuses, wages rose by 0.6% in the three months to June, missing forecasts for a 0.7% increase, after increasing by 0.7% in the three months to May.
Following the release of the data, the pound turned lower against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD shedding 0.06% to trade at 1.6802, compared to 1.6822 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, European stock markets remained higher. London's FTSE 100 picked up 0.1%, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 advanced 0.9%, France's CAC 40 rallied 0.8%, while Germany's DAX climbed 0.9%.
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