Unemployment is set to breach the politically sensitive 2m mark today, the highest figure since the Labour party came to power in 1997, posing a severe test for the country’s muchvaunted 'flexible' labour market.

The jobless total is expected to continue rising all year, with many analysts forecasting that it will reach 3.3m, or more than 10% of the workforce, before the labour market starts to recover from the recession.

Financial Times