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Unemployment falls to 7.1%

The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 7.1 per cent potentially putting pressure on Bank of England governor Mark Carney to raise interest rates.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate for September to November last year was 7.1 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.5 percentage points from June to August 2013.

There were 2.32m people unemployed - down 167,000 from June to August 2013.

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The drop in the employment rate could force Mr Carney to raise interest rates from their historic lows sooner than he wants to.

The governor has highlighted a 7 per cent unemployment rate as a “staging post" on the path to raising rates.