The total number of unemployed people increased by 80,000 in the three months to July to reach 2.51 million - the largest quarterly increase in unemployment since the three months to August 2009.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of unemployed men increased by 39,000 on the quarter to reach 1.45 million and the number of unemployed women increased by 41,000 to reach 1.06 million – the highest figure since the three months to April 1988.
The quarterly rise in unemployment occurred mainly among people aged from 18 to 24. The number of unemployed people in this age group rose by 77,000 over the quarter to reach 769,000.
The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to July 2011 was 70.5%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter, while the number of people in employment aged 16 and over decreased by 69,000 on the quarter but increased by 24,000 on the year to reach 29.17 million.
The number of men in employment fell by 71,000 on the quarter to reach 15.63 million, with falls in employment for both full-time workers, down 32,000 on the quarter and part-time workers, down 39,000 on the quarter.
There were 1.58 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in August 2011, up 20,300 on July.
The number of men claiming JSA increased by 12,200 to reach 1.06 million and the number of women claimants increased by 8,100 to reach 519,200, the highest figure since January 1996.
In the three months to July 2011, 162,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 47,000 over the quarter. This increase in redundancies occurred mainly among women.