Unemployment in Jersey has increased to the record levels seen during the depths of the recession, worrying new figures have revealed.

The number of people out of work has increased for the fourth consecutive month, with 1,290 islanders now registered as unemployed.

The rise has pushed levels close to the record 1,320 people registered out of work in February 2010.

And the number of unemployed is likely to rise further during the coming months as workers are laid off as part of sweeping States cuts and the public sector voluntary redundancy scheme.

Unions have called on the States to act to prevent widespread unemployment across the island.

The steady rise in unemployment has surprised many after an apparent improvement in the jobs market earlier this year.

After peaking in February, unemployment levels dropped steadily for three consecutive months and reached a low of 1,060 unemployed in May.

The figures, released by the States Statistics Unit, show that about a quarter of people registered as out of work were teenagers who have just left school or college. About 62 per cent were male.

Many of the recent job losses have been in the so-called elementary occupation section, which includes labourers, farm workers, bar staff, waiters and couriers. The skilled trades and sales and customer services sections were also badly hit.