Over the three month period the number of people out of work increased by 43,000 to 2.5m, which according to the ONS is the highest figure since the three months to December 1994.
Meanwhile the unemployment rate for the three months to February rose 0.1 per cent compared the past quarter to 8 per cent. The ONS says this rate has not been higher since the three months to September 1996.
However the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance fell by 32,900 between February and March this year. This, says the ONS is the fourth time out of the past five months the number of claims has fallen.