New figures just released by the CSO show the unemployment rate fell 0.2% to 10.1% in February.
The Live Register Figures from the Central Statistics Office show just over 355,000 people were signing on last month.
"The numbers of unemployed are down by 43,000 on the same time last year," said Minister Richard Bruton. "I believe we'll shortly head below 10% unemployment- that would be a very significant landmark."
"It's very clear that the approach we're taking to create an environment where jobs can grow is impacting very directly on the live register."
The live register figures include part-time workers who work up to three days a week and casual workers who receive Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance.
This month's figures include 72,155 casual and part-time workers, making up 20.3% of the total - down from 81,204 one year ago.
The number of persons under 25 years on the live register is falling at a faster rate than over 25s - with the younger category falling by 19.4% in one year (compared to -9.2% in the over 25s).
The Minister said the country can't afford to "mess up what we've created", saying that such opportunities have been "screwed up by bad policies" in the past.