FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Payroll employment has posted a n unusually large increase in the US in December, the second in a row to put an end to a year that in unemployment terms has been the worst since 1945, according to data released by the US Department of Labor.

The total non-farm payrolls volume has declined by 524,000 in December, following a 584,000 decline in November, revised down from the previously released 533,000 drop. December's data closes the worst year in employment in more than 50 years with a total loss of 2.6 million jobs.

Unemployment rate has risen a whole half percentage point in only one month reaching 7.2. Since the beginning of 2008, the unemployment rate has grown in the U.S. by 2.3% percentage points.

The average workweek has decreased to 33.3 hours in December, from 33.5 hours in November, and the average hourly earnings have posted a 0.3% increase on the month. For the whole 2008 year, average hourly earnings have increased 3.7%.