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Britain's Unemployment Rate Holds at 5.5%

Britain's unemployment rate held at 5.5% in the three months ending Jan. 31, the government said Wednesday.

A total of 1.69 million, or 5.5% of the work force, were registered as being without work in the three-month period - 3,000 fewer than in the previous three-month period, The Office for National Statistics said.

At the same time, however, the employment rate for people of working age fell to 74.4% over the period, from 74.5% in the previous three months.

The combination of an increase in the number of people employed and a fall in the employment rate indicated an expanding work force.