The latest figures for unemployment released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) across Ireland make for positive reading. According to the CSO, the unemployment rate dipped to 8.9 percent for October, which is the first time it’s been below 9 percent since 2008.

This represents the 12th quarter in a row of employment growth, with another 56,000 people joining the workforce over the last year.

Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton (Fine Gael) welcomed the news, saying the dip showed the Government was getting to grips with the harder core of unemployment, while Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that employment growth is one of the most tangible signs of economic recovery.

“Today’s data show that in the year to the third quarter, 56,000 jobs have been added to the economy. This marks the 12th successive quarter of employment growth. Overall, employment volumes have now increased by over 135,000 since the establishment of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012,” Minister Noonan stated.

With the Goverment very much in pre-election mode, this represents another positive news story regarding the Irish economy in recent weeks.

However, Alan McQuaid from Merrion Economics said that emigration has been a factor to some degree in keeping unemployment down. He did however state that the labour market has improved dramatically over the past couple of years, reflecting the strengthening of the economic recovery.

McQuaid also revealed that “the greatest rate of increase was posted in the Construction (+13.3% or 15,000) sector. The pick-up in this sector is particularly encouraging given that it was the one that suffered the worst in the downturn.”

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