Unemployment rate dipped below 7pc for first time since 2008
The unemployment rate dipped to 6.8pc last month, the lowest level since mid 2008, official figures show.
The last time the unemployment rate was lower that this was in July 2008, when it was 6.5pc, according to the Central Statistics Office.
The numbers in work now are at their highest level since the end of 2008.
The CSO said the number of people in a job in the final three months of last year increased by 65,100 compared with the same period in 2015.
That brought to total employment figure to just over 2 million.
All sectors of the economy saw an increase in employment at the end of the year, the CSO said.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said it is encouraging that all sectors are generating employment.
“In parallel with the employment growth, unemployment continues to fall and we now have net inward migration,” he said.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Speaking today, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said: "I'm delighted with these CSO figures which show our job growth figures increased significantly in 2016," she said.
"I’m especially pleased that 70pc of the 66,100 new jobs announced last year were outside Dublin, as bringing jobs to the regions has been, and will continue to be, a key focus for me.
"These are more than statistics. These are real people's lives being transformed."