The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 262,000 people were unemployed in the region between March and May.
The region’s unemployment rate was 9.7% and saw a rise of 5.2% during the period. The worst area in the UK was Yorkshire and the Humber which recorded a 13,000 increase in the number of people without a job.
Unemployment has fallen for the fourth month in a row and more jobs are being created, especially for people over the age of 65, new figures showed.
The jobless total fell by 65,000 to 2.58 million in the quarter to May, the lowest for almost a year, while the number of people in employment increased by 181,000 to just under 30 million, the highest for almost four years.
But the numbers claiming jobseeker’s allowance jumped by 6,100 last month to 1.6 million, including an increase of 8,000 among women to 530,700, the highest figure for 17 years.
The Office for National Statistics said the increase among women was likely to have been affected by a change in eligibility rules for lone parent income support from May.
Long-term unemployment has also increased, with those out of work for more than two years up by 18,000 to 441,000, the worst figure since 1997.
The number jobless for more than a year rose by 3,000 to 885,000, while there were just over a million unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, down 10,000 on the three months to February.
Most age groups showed increases in employment, with a rise of 52,000 in over-65s in work to reach 929,000, the highest since records began in 1992.