Official figures released yesterday showed the numbers of unemployed continues to rise.
The figures produced by the by the Office for National Statistics showed the unemployment rate to be 8.4%, higher than any time in the last 17 years.
The total number of people out of work is now 2.67 million, up 48,000 on the previous three months. 860,000 claimants have now been without work for more than a year.
Two-thirds of the increase in unemployment was accounted for by women, who continue to be hit hardest by the deterioration in the labour market.