The number of unemployed persons decreased 4.2 percent to 5.2 million in the three months to December from 5.4 million in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, not economically active population increased 1.3 percent to 15.06 million and discouraged work-seekers went up by 2.2 percent to 2.3 million.
Employment rose 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter to 16.0 million people, the seventh subsequent quarter of growth. The largest gains were observed in mining (+8.4 percent), transport (+5.2 percent) and trade (+2.5 percent). In contrast, job losses were recorded in agriculture (-4.1 percent) and utilities (-2.9 percent).
In the fourth quarter of 2015, the labour force participation rate declined to 58.5 percent from 58.8 percent in the previous period.
The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work decreased to 33.8 percent from 34.4 percent.