THE LONDON OLYMPICS is behind today’s surprise fall in unemployment as recorded by government number-crunchers, say economists.

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UK unemployment fell by 65,000 in the three months to May, reported the Office for National Statistics, to stand at 2.58 million.

61,000 of the gain in jobs came in London, with the Olympic-powered service and construction sectors thought to be responsible for the bulk of the new jobs, despite the debacle surrounding unfilled security guard posts at G4S.

“The imminent holding of the Olympic Games is currently providing a boost to employment,” economist Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight told the BBC.

Despite the good news on jobs, London’s unemployment rate still stands at 8.9% – against a national average of 8.1% – and the downside to the Olympics boost is that the work created might well be temporary and we’ll see unemployment rise in the autumn.

“If this is Olympic-related temporary hiring, it is likely to be unwound again later in the year,” said Peter Dixon of Commerzbank.