Unemployment figures due out today could show that almost two million people were jobless in October – the most recent figures available.
The TUC has predicted that unemployment will hit two million by Christmas – and that half a million people will face their second successive Christmas on the dole.
The jobless total reached an 11-year high of 1.82 million people at the end of September, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics in November.
Job cuts have continued throughout the autumn and into the winter as the economic downturn continues to worsen.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Two million people are set for a very grim Christmas this year, many of whom will have also spent last Christmas on the dole.
“These people are not scroungers. They are blameless victims of a worldwide economic downturn and deserve to be treated as such. As well as more support to get back into work, unemployed people need more immediate financial support to help them cope with life on the dole.”
Yesterday, former Conservative prime minister John Major warned of an impending avalanche of job losses.