UK unemployment rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million, as youth unemployment rose above a million.
The jobless total for 16 to 24-year-olds hit a record of 1.02 million in the quarter and female unemployment was at its highest for 23 years.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless rate hit 8.3%.
The number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 5,300 to 1.6 million in October.
The news comes as the Bank of England’s governor Sir Mervyn King said Britain’s economy could stagnate until the middle of next year.
The Bank cut its 2011 and 2012 growth predictions to about 1%, warning the global economic outlook had “worsened”.
The unemployment rate of 8.3% is the highest since 1996 and the total number of unemployed people the highest since 1994.
The number of women out of work increased by 43,000 to 1.09 million, the highest level since February 1988.
The number of unemployed people rose in every part of the UK, except for the East Midlands, where it remained unchanged, and the North West and Northern Ireland, where the number of unemployed fell.
The unemployment rate was highest in the North East, at 11.6%.
The government says it has launched initiatives to help 350,000 young people into work.
The number of young people out of work during the three months to September rose by 67,000.
The total is the highest since comparable records began 19 years ago.
The figure includes 286,000 people in full time education looking for part-time work.
“Today’s figures are a wake-up call for Britain. It is critical to help young people into work for the future of our economy and society,” said Martina Milburn from the Prince’s Trust charity, which works with young people.
The figures from the office of national statistics also showed average earnings grew by 2.3% in the year to September, down 0.4% on the previous month.
The fall will further reduce pressure on the Bank of England to increase rates to tackle inflation.
The number of employees excluding the self-employed fell by 305,000 to 24.79m, the lowest since records begun.
At the same time, the number of self-employed people reached a record high of 4.09 million.
The high unemployment numbers will increase attention on the government’s autumn statement which is expected to focus on measures to promote growth.
However, Chancellor George Osborne is unlikely to suggest any changes to plans to cut the deficit.
The Bank of England has cut its growth forecast for 2011-12 from about 1.5% to about 1%.
With unemployment rising and wages increasing by less than inflation, some economists are concerned that growth will stagnate further.
“When you have bad wage growth and rising unemployment, it doesn’t bode well for consumption,” said George Buckley from Deutsche Bank.
Unemployed and in Debt
When someone becomes unemployed and has a reduction in income as they lose their wage and this is replaced with a much lower benefit income, debts will become unmanagable.
Humber Debt Solutions can help people facing this issue. A spokes person at Humber Debt Solutions said today
“The majority of people contacting us do so because of a reduction in income. This is often due to the employer reducing the number of working hours, however the main reason is due to redundancy.”
“They want to pay their debts but simply cannot offord to pay what the creditors are asking. The feedback from our customers suggests that in most cases the creditors are unhelpful and unwilling to provide assistance to the customer. We can offer flexible Debt Management solutions for unemployed people and are currently helping many customers in this situation.”
“As Unemployment rises so will the number people facing debt crisis, debt problems will soar. debts should not be ignored when you become unemployed, if you take no action and just stop paying them they will soon spiral out of control.”
If you have recently become unemployed and are struggling to manage your debt, contact them today and see if they can help you. They can be contacted on 01482 585017 or visit www.humberdebt.co.uk.
Humber Debt Solutions “Debt Management Specialists, providing the right solutions for you”