Could double dip recession occur?A double dip recession may potentially be on the cards, following the news that unemployment figures in the UK have risen sharply, it has been claimed – which may see HR professionals up their efforts to avoid redundancies.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that in the last quarter of the recession, both unemployment and the number of people finding themselves underemployed rose.

Meanwhile, the group also unexpectedly revealed the number of people claiming jobseekers benefits increased by 23,500 to 1.64 million during January.

According to the Telegraph, the figures may see the economy falling into a double dip recession.

Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, told the newspaper: "Weak employment and unemployment statistics are compounded by falling real earnings with inflation well ahead of pay growth."

He added that a public sector recession in 2011 could even see the country suffering a "triple tumble recession".

Meanwhile, David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, warned the number of people in full-time employment is continuing to fall, while those with part-time jobs now stand at a record high.