Unemployment rose by 10,000 in the three months to the end of July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS figures showed that there were 1.82 million people without a job during the period, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.5%. However, compared with the same period last year, the unemployment rate is down from 6.2%.

Despite a rise in unemployment, wages grew at their fastest pace since 2009. Excluding bonuses, pay was up 2.9% during the quarter.

The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance fell to 791,700, edging it towards its lowest level since before the financial crisis.

With 31.09 million people in work, the Chancellor George Osborne claimed there is now a higher percentage of people in work than ever before.

He said: "It is welcome news that pay packets are rising and jobs are being created. With wages up 2.9% over the year and inflation low, working people have received the fastest real-terms rise in over a decade. At 73.5%, the employment rate is the highest it has been."