Unemployment rate drops to 6.1%

The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1%, official figures have revealed.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) the level of people out of work has come down almost 1.5% in the last year.

There were 138,100 people unemployed in November, down 3,400 on the previous month, the records showed, and down 29,000 over the last 12 months.

The global recruitment site Indeed noted the continued improvement in unemployment figures in Ireland compared with other nations that endured a major debt crisis and recession in the last decade with jobless rates in Portugal at 8.5%; 16.7% in Spain; 11.1% in Italy; and 21% in Greece.

The improving unemployment numbers were released along with a revised assessment by the CSO that the amount of jobs lost in the recession was worse than previously thought.

Based on new analysis, it said the unemployment rate peaked at 15.9% at the end of 2011, compared with the previously recorded high of 15.1%.

Mariano Mamertino, economist at Indeed, said the improving unemployment rates were running alongside improving consumer confidence and higher retail sales.

But he warned: "Notwithstanding the decline in national unemployment, the recovery is not benefiting all the country equally."

Mr Mamertino pointed to high unemployment in the Midlands and stagnation of numbers along the border.

He added: "With the unemployment trajectory expected to continue its downward trend in 2018 it must be hoped that policy efforts to bring investment and new jobs to areas where recovery has been less robust are successful.

"This is particularly important given the pressure on infrastructure and housing in the main cities, particularly Dublin."

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