UK unemployment fell by 45,000 between January and March to reach 2.63 million, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent, the data shows.
The number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance fell by 13,700 to 1.59 million, despite separate data showing the UK entered a double-dip recession at the start of 2012.
The number of people in work increased by 105,000 over the quarter to 29.3 million, driven entirely by more part-time workers, the ONS said.
Chris Grayling, the employment minister, said the news was a "welcome step in the right direction".
The number of young people out of work has also fallen, down by 17,000 over the latest quarter to 1.02 million.
However, the number of people unemployed for more than a year increased 27,000 to 887,000 and the number of people unemployed for more than two years rose by 5,000 to 428,000.
Mr Grayling said: "These figures are a welcome step in the right direction. For a number of months now, employment has been growing and this is starting to feed through into improving unemployment figures.
"However, we still face significant international uncertainty so we need to hold firm on our current economic strategy and continue to do everything we can to ensure unemployment continues to fall."
Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said the figures presented a mixed picture, with the fall in unemployment driven entirely by part-time jobs.
"The falling number of full-time jobs and the six per cent fall in real wages over the last two years means that people are having to make huge salary sacrifices and put their careers on hold just to stay in work," he said.
The UK's unemployment rate is lower than the European average of 10.2 per cent. Spain has the highest unemployment rate, at 24.1 per cent, while Austria has the lowest at four per cent.