Government data out today likely to show big increase in unemployment

Another big rise in unemployment is expected in official figures due to be released later this morning by the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people out of work in the UK is anticipated to exceed 1.8 million, in what will be the highest level since 1998, in figures for the three months to September.

In the previous set of figures, for the three months to August, the total was 1.79 million - with the quarterly rise of 164,000 the largest leap in UK unemployment for 17 years.