Bitesize Blighty: August 17, 2018

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  • The UK’s jobless rate has fallen to a four-decade low, official figures published on Tuesday said. Only 4 per cent of those active in the labour market were out of work during the three months to the end of June, the lowest rate since the winter of 1974-75. The record low was 3.4 per cent in 1973. However, the fall in unemployment failed to lift wage growth. Growth in average weekly earnings fell to 2.4 per cent during the period, down from 2.5 per cent in the three months to the end of May. Analysts had expected the rate to remain steady.
  • Shortly after Geordie Greig was appointed as the new editor of the Daily Mail this summer, John Major addressed him and other guests at a private dinner in London. The former prime minister, who is against Brexit and who has called for a second referendum, said that Mr Greig now had “the power and the potential to change the political discourse of our country”, according to one person present. Sir John, who is on a family holiday, was unavailable for comment. But throughout Westminster and beyond, there is a keen interest in whether the Daily Mail, a strident advocate for Brexit under outgoing editor Paul Dacre, will change when Mr Greig takes over in September.
  • Monzo, the British digital bank popular with millennials, is set to become the latest European fintech “unicorn” with a fresh round of fundraising expected to put a valuation on the company of up to $1.5bn. Monzo has grown rapidly by capitalising on disenchantment with traditional banks and a growing desire, particularly among young people, to manage their finances on their mobile devices rather than in a branch or by talking to someone in a call centre. The east London-based online bank, known for its distinctive pink cards, is signing up 18,000 customers a week and aims to reach as many as 4m customers in the next couple of years, according to Tom Blomfield, its chief executive.

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