• The number of young unemployed people - those aged between 16 and 24 - continued to rise, to 946,000 in the three months to August
• Men remain the most affected by unemployment, with the number of males without work rising by 76,000 to 1.53 million in the three months to August
• The number of women unemployed totalled 935,000, up 12,000
• There has been a sharp increase in the number of women working part-time, up 79,000 for the three months ending in August 2009 to a total figure of 5,732,000. Nearly 10% of these women say they are working part-time because they can't find a full-time job
• Average earnings excluding bonuses rose by just 1.9% in the three months to August from a year earlier, the lowest figure on record.
"Although unemployment isn't as high today as many feared it would be at the time of the Budget, it remains a serious problem, which is why we must keep increasing support and advice to get people back into jobs," said Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper.
The Employment Minister Jim Knight
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union said the latest figures showed "some tentative signs of a very fragile recovery in the economy".
Investec chief economist Philip Shaw said the numbers were "more encouraging than we had hoped".
"It does suggest that the pace of deterioration in the jobs market is easing quite sharply which is encouraging for the outlook for a sustainable recovery," he said.
The latest unemployment data comes a week before the Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases its first estimate for how the UK economy performed between July and September.
Despite some signs of economic improvement, analysts remain unsure as to whether the economy will post growth and therefore exit recession.
If the economy contracts again, it will be the first time that the UK has endured six successive quarters without economic expansion.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.