Unemployment has risen for the first time in months to reach 1.69 million, according to figures out today.
The Office for National Statistics has revealed that 21,000 more people were out of work in February 2007 than in November 2006.
Unemployment was up by 120,000 people from this time last year, with 17,000 more people classed as economically inactive over that period.
Men made up almost 80% of the increase in unemployment over the past three months. Unemployment among 18- to 24-year-olds rose by 13,000 to 507,000 during that time.