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The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in the three months to February, according to official figures. The fall – down from 5% in the three months to January – came despite most of the UK being under strict lockdown restrictions for at least some of the period. The Office for National Statistics says the jobs market is “broadly stable” but “remains subdued”, with five million people still furloughed and more than 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic.

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