THE standardised unemployment rate in November was 12.5pc, down from 12.6pc the previous month, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
The level was the lowest since July 2009 and means that 5,000 fewer people claimed benefits in November.
In unadjusted terms there were 391,507 people signing on the Live Register in November 2013 - this represents an annual decrease of 25,770 or a drop of 6.2pc.
According to the CSO, the number of long-term claimants on the dole for more than a year had also fallen to 179,758.
On an adjusted basis the Live Register total recorded a monthly decrease of 3,400 in November 2013, reducing the seasonally adjusted total to 406,200.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from the most recent Quarterly National Household Survey was 12.8pc in the third quarter of 2013.