The coronavirus crisis will leave more than 2.5 million people in the UK unemployed next year.
Unemployment is predicted to peak in the second quarter of 2021 - at 7.5 per cent.
In total, that would mean 2.6m people out of work.
Although unemployment is predicted to fall every year after that, it is still due to stand at 4.4 per cent by the end of 2024.
The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the bleak forecast in his spending review, as he warned the UK was facing an "economic emergency".
Official forecasts show the UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year, the worst recession for more than 300 years.
The economy is not predicted to recover to pre-crisis levels for another two years>
And the UK’s underlying debt will continue to rise every year, reaching 97.5 per cent of GDP in 2025-26, Mr Sunak told MPs.
But he added: “High as these costs are, the costs of inaction would have been far higher.”
As expected, Mr Sunak announced that nearly £3 billion would be provided for a new three-year "restart programme" to help those out of work for more than a year find a job.