The U.K. jobless rate matched its lowest since 1975 in the three months through January. Unemployment unexpectedly declined to 4.7 percent, matching the rate it last reached in 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The number of people in work rose by 92,000 to 31.9 million. This is the biggest increase since last summer. The U.K. economy has defied predictions of doom since the Brexit vote, expanding at a robust 0.7 percent at the end of 2016. Bank of England officials meeting this week are expected to keep the benchmark rate at a record-low 0.25 percent.