Results from the Quarterly National Household Survey for 2010:Q4 are now available (press release here, full release here.) The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for the quarter rose by one percentage point to 14.7%. This is a percentage point higher than the previously available proxy for the seasonally adjusted rate based on Live Register figures.
I’m not sure what the explanation is for such a large divergence between the QNHS and Live Register series for this quarter. One possible factor is that some people are now reaching the expiry of their benefit eligibility and thus falling off the Live Register while still being unemployed. The different behaviour for 2010:Q4 doesn’t seem to reflect a big drop in the labour force, due to emigration for example, because the decline in the labour force was of a similar magnitude to previous quarters.