FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The number of people employed in the United Kingdom, as well as the employment rate have continued its downtrend in December, while unemployment levels continue ticking up, according to the latest Labour Market Report by National Statistics.

Claimant count numbers rose to 77,900 last month, somewhat below the 80,000 increase forecasted by market analysts, and below the 83,100 level posted in November; revised up from the 75,000 level previously estimated.

The claimant count rate has risen to 3.6% in December from 3.3% in November, claimant count rate remains now at its highest level since June 2000.

The ILO Unemployment rate has edged up to 6.1% in the three months to November from 6.0% in the three months to October. Unemployment has increased 0.4% in the last quarter, and 0.9% in the last 12 months.

Average earnings excluding bonuses have remained unchanged at 3.6% in the three months to November, while excluding bonuses, average earnings dropped 0.2% to 3.1%.