The number of Britons claiming jobless benefits rose for the second month running in September.
The Office for National Statistics said the total increased by 5,300 – the biggest rise since January.
The figures did little to change the view that Britain’s economy is in a fragile state ahead of a government spending cuts that will see thousands of public sector workers laid off.
Using the wider International Labour Organisation measure, the number of people out of work however, fell by 20,000 to 2.448 million in the three months to August.
But analysts said that did not change the bleak outlook for the UK labour market.