Unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate in almost a year in the quarter to June, despite the sharpening recession, as the number of full and part-time workers rose in the build-up to London 2012.

Chancellor George Osborne, beleaguered by a constant stream of negative data about the UK economy, will welcome the respite of the positive unemployment figures.

The UK unemployment rate came in at 8 percent for the three months to June, down 0.2 percent on the quarter, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Employment hit its highest rate for four years with 71 percent of 16 to 64-year-olds working in a job.

Full-time workers grew by 130,000, while part-time workers increased by 71,000 - the highest since records began in 1992.

However the number of employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job went up by 16,000 on the quarter, hitting 1.42 million, also the highest figure since 1992.