FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - December's non-farm payroll figures have gone further , in the negative side, than the most pessimistic forecasts with employment levels growing well below expectations, and the unemployment level picking up, putting an end to three months of strong work creation.

Non farm payrolls have increased by 18,000 in December, after a 115,000 increase posted in November, revised up from the initially reported 94.000 increase, and a rise of 159,000 in October. In the whole 2007 payroll employment increased by 1.3 million, while in 2006 the increase was 2.3 million. Market analysts expected an increase of around 50,000 new payrolls.

Unemployment rate has risen to 5.0% from 4.7% on the previous month, while the average workweek remains unchanged at 33.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings have increased by 7 cents, or 0.4% to 17,71 in seasonally adjusted terms, while from December 2006, hourly earnings have increased 3.7%.