The unemployment rate in recession-hit Britain fell to 8.1 percent in May from 8.2 percent in April, official data showed on Wednesday, as the jobs market was boosted by temporary hiring for the Olympics.
"The unemployment rate for the three months to May 2012 was 8.1 percent of the economically active population," the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
"The total number of unemployed people fell by 65,000 over the quarter, but increased by 132,000 on the year, to reach 2.58 million."
Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight research group, said the British labour market was "displaying impressive resilience given the very real likelihood that the economy suffered a third successive quarter of contraction in the second quarter.
"It is evident that restrained earnings growth as well as significant increases in part-time jobs and self-employment is helping to keep unemployment down. In addition, the imminent holding of the Olympic Games is currently providing a boost to employment," he added.
Thousands of temporary jobs have been created as a result of the upcoming London Olympics that begin in eight days.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)