The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK soared to 2.1 million last month, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.
The total in April went up by 856,500, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Separate ONS figures showed UK unemployment rose by 50,000 to 1.35 million in the three months to March.
The unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, slightly down on the previous quarter, the ONS said.
Before the lockdown began, employment had hit a record high.
The benefit claimant count does not include everyone who is out of work, since not everyone is entitled to claim assistance, but it does indicate the trend in the employment market.