The government has to make a bold response, which involves a change in policy, to the recent rise in unemployment, according to a trade union.

If measures are taken, there could be a shorter and shallower recession, but unemployment will get worse before it gets better, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warns.

According to a report by the organisation, at the end of September 1. 8 million people were unemployed and there has been an 11.1 per cent increase in those without jobs in the last year.

Nicola Smith, senior policy officer for economic and social affairs at the TUC, said the government needs to focus on tax cuts for low and middle income earners.

"We believe with a bold policy response there is potential to prevent the recession from being any deeper and any longer than it needs to be," she added.

The report also showed the quarterly increase in unemployment has been similar for women and men, with the rates going up by 0.4 and 0.5 per cent respectively.