The number of unemployed people in the UK rose by 49,000 to 2.5 million during the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday.

However, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.9 percent though there was an increase in the number of unemployed people.

Also, the number of people seeking jobless claims fell by 4,100 to 1.46 million in December.

Economists had expected the unemployment rate to be unchanged and jobseekers' allowance count to be reduced by 1,400.

Many economists expect the unemployment rate to rise later this year when government austerity measures take effect.

Besides, the number of people in employment fell by 69,000 to 29.09 million for the three months ending November. The employment rate decreased to 70.4 percent, down 0.3 percent.

The ONS figures also showed that annual growth rate of total pay (including bonuses) remained unchanged at 2.1 percent during September-November 2010.