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Ireland's unemployment rate drops below 10 pct

Xinhua, May 22, 2015 Adjust font size:

Ireland's unemployment rate has dipped below 10 percent with a 0.6 percent increase in employment in the first quarter of the year, according to official figures on Thursday.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed an annual increase in employment of 2.2 percent or 41,300, bringing total employment to 1,929,500.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 12,500. This follows a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 13,000 last quarter.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 10.4 percent to 9.9 percent over the quarter, with unemployment decreasing by 45,300. The total number of people unemployed was 212,800.

Ireland's unemployment rate of 9.9 percent compares with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 9.8 percent for the 28-member European Union for February this year.

Irish Jobs Minister Richard Bruton welcomed Thursday's unemployment figures, saying that these figures are encouraging as they indicate broad-based sector growth.

He described the drop in unemployment figures to below 10 percent for the first time in seven years as a milestone but acknowledged employment inequality remains across regions.

The Irish minister said 60 percent of the growth is outside of Dublin. Endit