Another 100,000 people will be without a job before the end of the summer and unemployment will not fall for 18 months, a study has shown.
An analysis of jobless figures by the IPPR think tank showed that unemployment will not peak until at least September, with more people expected to join the dole queue in the coming months.
The North West, London, Yorkshire and Humberside and the East of England will see the highest increases in unemployment, while the jobless total is predicted to fall in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and the South West.
The IPPR said it expected 50,000 more men and a similar number of women will become unemployed this year as public sector jobs continue to be cut, while over 40,000 of those becoming jobless will be under the age of 25.
Kayte Lawton, IPPR Senior Research Fellow, said: "The personal tragedy of the slow economic recovery is the way unemployment will continue to rise over the next year, even once the economy begins to grow. This has been the longest recession and the slowest recovery that Britain has ever experienced.
"The risk is that high unemployment becomes a permanent feature of the UK economy, as it did in the 1980s. Even within the context of the government's deficit reduction plan, it is short-sighted of the government not to do more to get people back into jobs.
"The new Youth Contract is a good first step but it must not be the last word. People who have been out of work for more than a year face being scarred by the experience and without help, may never work again."
Unemployment stands at 2.67 million, a jobless rate of 8.4%, the highest since 1995, with over a million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work.
New figures later this month are expected to show another increase in the figures.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "There have been some encouraging signs that the labour market is stabilising, but there is clearly still a big challenge ahead to bring down unemployment.
"The international economic outlook remains difficult, but we will do everything we can to help the unemployed find jobs.
"The Work Programme offers flexible, tailored support to get people into sustained employment and we have just launched the Youth Contract, where £1bn will be spent to provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for young people, including apprenticeships and work experience placements."
Shadow employment minister Liam Byrne said: "Britain is undergoing a jobs crisis, with unemployment at its highest level in 17 years and youth unemployment over a million yet ministers show no sign of getting a grip.
"This IPPR analysis showing that unemployment is set to continue to rise for months to come is extremely worrying, and it underlines how urgently we need this Government to finally get serious about getting people off benefits and into work.
"Last month we needed a budget to get our country moving again but what we got was yet another wasted opportunity as George Osborne stuck with the same failed policies that have pushed up unemployment and added £150 billion to the borrowing bill.
"Ministers must take decisive action to get people back into work. They should enact Labour's five point plan, including the Real Jobs Guarantee paid for by a tax on bankers' bonuses, that would guarantee a proper job for every young person out of work for a year, which they would be required to take."