The number of unemployed people in Britain rose in April to 7.2% of the population, a 12-year high, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Over 2.2 million people had no job in the three months to April, the highest figure since November 1996, and up 0.7 percentage points from the three months to January 2009.
It also increased by 1.9 percentage points on the year.
There was also a significant rise in the number of people unemployed for over a year. In the three months to April, there were 515,000 people – 54,000 more than in the three months to January.
The employment rate was up 0.8 percentage points to 73.3% and the claimant count also increased to 4.8%.