David Cameron received a timely reminder on his first full day as Prime Minister that solving the economic problems of the nation should be of foremost concern to his new government.

This morning, as more details of Mr Cameron's coalition with the Liberal Democrats emerged, the Office for National Statistics released figures showing a rise in unemployment to over 2.5 million people.

In the three months to the end of March the number of unemployed people rose by 53,000 from the previous quarter to 2.51 million. The number of people in work fell by 76,000 to over 28.8 million.

In April the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance fell by 27,000 from the previous month to over 1.5 million.

Last year the Confederation of British Industry predicted that unemployment would continue to rise until the Autumn, despite the recession coming to an end in the final quarter of 2009.

The new Conservative government has said that cutting Britain's budget deficit would be its top priority. Any serious attempt to do this is likely to result in more unemployment in the public sector, which currently accounts for over 50 per cent of Britain's GDP.