The TUC Congress opens in Bournemouth today with a warning that unemployment could be as high as 4.75 million.
A TUC report published ahead of the south coast meeting said wider measures of joblessness should be incorporated into the total, including the economically inactive.
As well as the 2.5 million official jobless figure, a further 2.26 million people want a job but are not classified as unemployed, the TUC said.
More top news
Sarah Bartlett was surprised when she received an anonymous card containing £100 as a reward for doing an "amazing job" as a mum
A cat who prowls a station on the hunt for mice has been promoted to become the official pest control manager.
Jessica Powell's parents described the "heartbreak" of her being treated at mental health units miles from home due to local bed shortages.