Japan's jobless rate rises to 4.2% in December

Japan's jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent in December, edging up from 4.1 percent in the previous month, the government said on Friday.

For the entire 2012 period, the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percent on-year to 4.3 percent, marking two straight years of improvement, according to the internal affairs ministry.

The December data, slightly higher than market expectations of 4.1 percent, comes after Japan's new government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a huge stimulus plan aimed at boosting jobs and ending years of deflation.

The number of unemployed people in December fell 6.2 percent from a year ago to 2.59 million.

But the number of employed people also fell 0.6 percent from a year earlier to 62.28 million, the ministry said.