In August of 2014, the unemployment rate touched a record low 4.8 percent but has been rising since then.
In December, the number of unemployed people increased to 3.974 million from 3.93 million in November. A year earlier, the figure was 4.19 million.
883 thousand people were officially registered as unemployed in December, up from 822 thousand in November but down from 918 thousand a year earlier.
While nominal wages rose 6.1 percent, real pay fell 4.1 percent year-on-year in December. In the previous month, real wages grew a meager 0.5 percent.