THE number of people working fell by 33,400 in the year to June 2012.
Grim new figures from the Central Statistics Office show a continuing drop in the labour force.
Employment fell in most sectors with administrative and support services worst hit with 5,800 fewer people employed than 12 months earlier, an 8.8pc drop.
The numbers working in construction fell by another 6.5pc, while the financial, insurance and real estate sector shed another 6,900 workers.
However there was a boost for the hotel and restaurant sector which took on an extra 6,300 workers, a 5.9pc improvement, the Quarterly National Household Survey shows.