Six million working-age adults are to soon be claiming benefits, a think thank has predicted.
Policy Exchange has forecast the increase using government figures on benefit claimants and the latest unemployment figures.
The latest official figures from the Department of Work and pensions (DWP), published in February, saw the total number of claimants reached 5.8 million, including 1.4 million on jobseekers' allowance.
The think tank warned the costs of benefits had risen from £93bn to £193bn since 1997, calling for a reform of the system.
And it was suggested that the large increase in jobseekers' allowance claimants will see the "real" jobless total past six million this month, reaching 6.8 million by the end of 2010.
Unemployment figures published last week said there are now almost 2.5 million people unemployed in Britain, a new 14-year high.
Director of Policy Exchange Neil O' Brien said: "The narrow unemployment figures we are used to seeing tell you less and less about the real number of people who are trapped on benefits."
But a DWP spokesman disputed the figures, saying: "This is simply not true and doesn't reflect the increased help and support people are getting, last month alone we helped over 330,000 people move off unemployment benefits."
Meanwhile, the think tank also published a report today urging the government to introduce a new system of financial support for part-time learners. It called for a £33m cash injection to fund part-time studies.
Many more mature students would be willing to study part-time if they were to receive the same financial support as those studying full-time, the research suggested.
And the report proposed that part-time students with a household income of up to £50,000 have access to a partial tuition-fee grant.