UK unemployment rose by 114,000 between June and August to 2.57 million, a 17-year high, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate also increased to 8.1%.
The jobless total for 16 to 24-year-olds hit a record high of 991,000 in the quarter, a jobless rate of 21.3%.
The number of people out of work and claiming benefits rose 17,500 to 1.6 million in September.
Other figures showed a record cut in the number of part-time workers, down by 175,000, and there was also a record reduction of 74,000 in the number of over-65s in employment.
The Employment Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that what the UK was now seeing was “the impact of the international financial crisis”.
Speaking in the Commons at Prime Minister’s questions, the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, said: “A year ago … the prime minister justified his economic policy by saying unemployment would fall this year, next year and the year after. Isn’t it time he admitted his plan isn’t working?”
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