Unemployment could hit 8% within two years, according to research out today.
The Capital Economics consultancy study warned that up to 440,000 jobs could be axed because of the credit crunch.
Bosses are desperate to make savings with costs biting, demand falling and a recession looming. The jobless figure could soar to 8% from its current rate of 5.3%.
Separate research from the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found that 350,000 jobs could go by April 2009. This figure was based on interviews with 120 chief executives at big companies.