On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate rose 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent in the preceding month and 3.4 percent a year earlier. The number of unemployed persons increased to 868 thousand in December as compared to 829 thousand in the previous month.
The number of employed persons totaled 25,879 thousand in December 2015, down from 26,253 thousand in a month earlier. From November to December, employment rose the most for wholesale & retail trade, accommodation & food (+21 thousand), followed by construction (+8 thousand), manufacturing (+7 thousand) and mining & manufacturing (+6 thousand). In contrast, employment fell in the agriculture (-291 thousand), business, personal, public service & others (-99 thousand) and electricity, transport, telecom & finance (-18 thousand).
Year-on-year, employment rose 2.0 percent while unemployment dropped by 2.1 percent. The economically active population marked 26,747 in December, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. The inactive population rose to 16,469, up 0.1 percent. The labor force participation rate stood at 61.9 percent in December, up 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier.