Employment predicted to surpass two million mark
Employment is at its highest level since the start of the economic crisis and is likely to break the two million mark within months.
New figures reveal that an extra 15,000 jobs were filled in the first three months of this year, bringing the total employed to 1,976,500.
The number in employment has grown by just under 47,000, or 2.4pc, since last year.
Unemployment is falling and the 8.3pc unemployment rate is the lowest since the end of 2008.
However, there are still 179,500 people unemployed and more than 56pc of these are long-term claimants.
The Department of Finance said the latest Quarterly National Household Survey, published by the Central Statistics Office, showed the economy was continuing to generate significant jobs growth and that the Action Plan for Jobs was having a positive effect.
Minister Michael Noonan said we had seen 14 consecutive quarters of employment growth.
"This growth remains broad-based, with 12 of the 14 sectors reported by the CSO showing annual growth."
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association said job creation could be better if unions' wage demands stopped.
It warned the new government to stand firm on "exorbitant" wage demands to avoid a "premature rush" back to the days of high wage increases.