The 0.3% rise quarter-on-quarter showed a further 118,000 lost work over those three months, according to figures out today from the Office of National Statistics, in the highest unemployment rate since 1995.
Total pay, including bonuses, has risen by 1.9% on a year earlier, down 0.2 % on the three months to October 2011.
Nick O’Reilly, a business recovery specialist at the chartered accountants HW Fisher & Company, said: “Inflation may be coming down, and the Bank of England breathing a little more easily, but on the high street it’s as bleak as ever.
“The Christmas period saw several high profile retail names go to the wall, and now public sector redundancies are progressively kicking in.”
Youth employment figures are still at record lows with 1.043m 16 – 24 year olds registered unemployed in the three months to November, which is 22.3%.
Rising unemployment figures look set to continue with a poll this week from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showing a nosedive in business confidence in December, with one in 13 firms planning to shed staff this year and confidence at a low.
“My fear is that the number of unemployed will only go one way – and that’s up,” said O’Reilly.
A CML spokesperson said the figures are not severe enough for the trade body to revise up its forecast for 45,000 repossessions next year, up from an estimated 37,000 this year.
“We took the pressures on household finance and the downside risks to the economy into account in the forecasts,” he said.