Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of "workless households" has reached 3.3 million, an increase of 240,000 households from last year. The ONS says that this as the largest year-on-year increase since 1997.
The North-East is highlighted as the UK region with the highest workless household rate of 23.2 per cent, while the East of England has the lowest rate of 12.2 per cent.
John Atkinson, associate director at the Institute for Employment Studies, said: "‘Eighteen months ago, worklessness was in decline. Government programmes encouraging lone parents and the long-term sick back into employment were a part of that success story. Today we can see that the recession is unravelling much of that progress."
The figures are available here