UK job centre
The ONS said that the UK employment rate fell to its lowest level since November 2008Reuters

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to 6.2% in the three months to July – its lowest level since 2008, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people out of work in Britain fell by 146,000 between May and July to 2.2 million.

The drop means the country's total jobless rate fell from 6.4% in the three months to June and was at its lowest level since November 2008.

The job figures will boost the Coalition Government ahead of the Scottish independence referendum and the 2015 General Election.

The Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the news and claimed the figures marked another step towards "full employment".

"But still much more to do," Osborne said, adding that the government "will set out further plans this autumn."

He added: "Unemployment in Scotland is down to 6% - below UK average. Scotland is doing well as part of UK."

The ONS also revealed that the UK youth unemployment rate (for 16 to 24 year olds) dropped to 16.6% in the three months to July, down from 16.9% in June.

The figures mean that there were 747,000 young people out of work over the period, while 3.76 million were working in the three months to July.

However, the data showed that wage growth continued to be weak.

The ONS said that pay including bonuses for employees in the UK was 0.6% higher than a year earlier as the average wage packet was £478 ($778, €601) per week before tax and other deductions from pay.

But pay growth lagged behind Consumer Price Index inflation, which grew at a rate of 1.6% in the year to July.