The Office for National Statistics, the United Kingdom’s largest independent producer of official statistics, reported Wednesday that the unemployment rate in the U.K. fell to 8% in the three months to June 2012, down from 8.2% in the previous quarter. However, compared to the same quarter last year, the unemployment rate edged 0.1 percentage points higher.
The number of unemployed people fell by 46,000 in the three months to the end of June. The number of people in employment rose by 201,000 over the quarter, the largest quarterly increase for nearly two years. Hiring associated with the Olympic Games may have been responsible in part for the better-than-expected figures.
The number of people claiming jobless benefits fell by 5,900 in July to 1.59 million compared to June. But that was 35,600 higher than in the same period of last year. Economists had expected that the number would rise by about 6,000.