Unemployment rate hits new six-year low of 9.8%

Unemployment has to fallen to a six-year low of 9.8 per cent, according to a new series of monthly unemployment estimates.

The seasonally adjusted number of people classified as unemployed fell by 300 to 209,700 in May, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO)

This is the lowest level recorded since January 2009.

It also represents the 25th consecutive monthly fall, if January 2014 – when the total remained unchanged – is excluded.

The figures indicated an annual decrease of 40,500 or 16.2 per cent.

The estimates replace the seasonally adjusted Standardised Unemployment Rate (SUR) as the definitive measure of monthly unemployment.

The figures for May show youth unemployment here was 20.2 per cent compared with 20.7 per cent 12 months ago. The unemployment rate for men, meanwhile, was 11 per cent compared with 8.3 per cent for women.