32,000 young people are still without a job
The number of young people who are long-term unemployed remains stubbornly high, despite claims by Finance Minister Michael Noonan that the country is heading towards full employment.
New figures show that there are 13,500 young people long-term unemployed in Ireland, with 32,000 under 26-year-olds on the live register.
In all, 13.5pc of young people were unemployed in January, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
This is in comparison to an overall rate of 7.1pc.
While 13.5pc represents a decrease in unemployment, the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has expressed disappointment at the number of youths who are long-term unemployed.
The council has said that the number is "still far too high", and has also called into question the effectiveness of the Youth Guarantee Scheme.
The NYCI has also voiced concerns at an increase in the numbers of young people on the live register.
The number of under 26-year-olds on the register increased by 1,111 from December to January.
Speaking in Limerick earlier this month, Noonan said Ireland was heading towards "full employment".
The minister said: "It's only five years ago that unemployment was 16pc.
"It's now down to 7.1pc, so it's heading down towards full employment, which is very important for society."