Unemployment rate falls to 7.2pc - the lowest level since August 2008
Youth unemployment rate falls to 14.5pc
The unemployment rate in December dropped slightly by one percentage point month-on-month - but substantially lower than for the same period in 2015.
According to the latest CSO figures, the rate of unemployment was 7.2pc last month, down from 7.3pc in November 2016 and a drop from 8.9pc in December 2015.
The jobless rate has now fallen for seven months in a row and is down from a post-crisis high of 15.2pc at the beginning of 2012.
Today's figures reflect the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008.
The number of people unemployed, therefore, was 157,700 in December 2016, down from 160,500 in comparison with the previous month's figure and a decrease of 35,500 when compared to December 2015.
Figures for December 2016 at a glance:
◾Unemployment rate was 8.1pc for men (total 97,100), down from 8.4pc in November 2016 and down from 10.6pc in December 2015.
◾Unemployment rate for women in December 2016 was 6.1pc (total 60,600), unchanged from November 2016 and down from 6.9pc in December 2015.
◾Unemployment rate for people aged 15-24 years (youth unemployment rate) was 14.5pc in December 2016, a decrease from 15.4pc in November 2016.
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said: “The ongoing reduction in the unemployment rate is positive news, coming as it does at a time of uncertainty for the Irish economy.”
“However, the most encouraging aspect of the December figures is the drop in the rate of youth unemployment. High youth unemployment remains as a legacy of the recession and needs to be addressed. Increasing opportunities for young people starting out in the workplace is important not only for economic reasons but is essential for the future social cohesion of Ireland."