Unemployment falls to eight-year low of 8.6%, CSO reveals

Figures suggest number of workers classified as unemployed fell by 2,900 last month

Unemployment hit a new eight-year low of 8.6 per cent last month as conditions in the wider economy continue to pick up.

The latest official figures show the number of workers classified as unemployed fell by 2,900 to 187,700 in March.

The figures point to an annual decrease of 23,400 which brought the headline rate down to 8.6 per cent from 8.8 per cent the previous month and 9.8 per cent 12 months ago.

This is the lowest rate recorded since December 2008.

The average rate of joblessness across the euro zone is 10.3 per cent.

The CSO’s unemployment estimates are based on the Quarterly National Household Survey but take into account changes to the Live Register.

The latest figures show the number of males categorised as unemployed in March was 122,000, down 2,400 on the previous month, while the number of females unemployed was down 500 at 65,700.

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