The UK is heading for a “woeful winter” of job cuts, according to the CIPD.
John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said unemployment could hit 2.25m as soon as Easter.
He said: “Today’s official figures are dire – the 122,000 quarterly drop in the number of people in work, and the 164,000 quarterly rise in unemployment, underline the severity of the emerging jobs crisis.
“With a recession now almost certainly already underway, we face the prospect of a woeful winter. If today’s figures are a guide to what happens next, claimant unemployment will probably top 1m by Christmas, with unemployment on the government’s preferred survey-based measure heading for 2.25m by next Easter at the latest.”
The number of people who claim unemployment benefits but are actively seeking work stands at 939,900, up nearly 10% on last year’s figures.