Unemployment at its lowest since the beginning of 2009
Unemployment is at the lowest level since the beginning of 2009, according to CSO statistics.
New figures from the CSO show the number of people signing on the Live Register in February fell by over 4,000, which leaves it at 355,600 on a seasonally adjusted basis.
At 10.1 per cent, it is the lowest it has been since February of 2009, and is down from 10.3 per cent in January (see below).
The CSO said the number of long term claimants on the Live Register in February was 162,776, with the unemployment rate is now well below the 11.2% euro area aggregate.
The majority of those on the Live Register are males, which make up approximately 216,000 of the total. Approximately 40,000 are female.
The number of persons aged 25 and over on the Live Register decreased by 31,237 (-9.2%), and the number of persons aged under 25 decreased by 11,708 (-19.4%).
The percentage of persons aged under 25 on the Live Register now stands at 13.7%
Economists now predict the unemployment will fall below 10 per cent for the first time in six years. Its worst rate was in February of 2012 when it rose to 15.1 per cent.
Economist Alan McQuaid said that - assuming the economy continues to grow strongly in 2015 - the average jobless rate of 9.7% will be expected for this year. He predicted that the figure is likely to hit the 9% level by December.