The number of unemployed people in the UK rose again in the second quarter of the year, to a total of 2.51 million, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

The figure is an increase of 80,000 on the previous three months, the sharpest rise for nearly two years. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.9%. The data also revealed that public sector employment fell by 110,000 in the period and this was only partially offset by an increase of 41,000  new private sector jobs.

This comes a day after it was revealed that the official rate of inflation rose to 4.5% - mostly off the back of increased utility costs.

A 3.7% increase in the price of clothing and footwear, as well as higher gas and electricity bills, were chiefly to blame for the August inflation rise according to the ONS.

The Bank of England has consistently failed to meet its 2% target and the consumer prices index has been at least double the target since the beginning of 2011.