UK unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 7.8 percent in 3 months through July

LONDON (AP) — Britain's unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 7.8 percent in the three months to July as more than a quarter of a million people joined the work force, official figures showed Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics said total unemployment fell by 8,000 people between May and July to 2.47 million.

The statistics office said 286,000 more people had jobs than in the previous quarter, bringing the number of workers in Britain to 29.16 million.

The rise was driven largely by part-time jobs — around 60 percent of the new jobs were part-time.

The labor market statistics Wednesday weren't all good news though.

A separate measure of unemployment actually increased during August. The statistics office said the number of people claiming the jobseeker's allowance rose by 2,300 in August to 1.47 million.

That was the first increase since January and may stoke fears that the economic recovery in Britain may be running out of steam.