The number of people signing on the dole has increased further, taking the unemployment rate to 14.8pc.
A total of 440,947 sought benefits last month, a huge dent in the Government's attempts to bring the jobs crisis under control.
According to official Live register figures, the unemployment rate is at its highest level since December last year.
The unemployment rate in May crept up to 14.8pc from 14.7pc in April. The monthly rise was the biggest since August last year.
The headline figure, which does not take seasonal factors into account, rose by 1,300 to 440,947.
The Live Register includes some part-time and seasonal workers and does not measure unemployment.
The latest figures were very disappointing, a spokesperson for the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said this afternoon.
The figures highlight why it is crucial to proceed, without wasting a moment, to implement reforms to improve competitiveness across the economy including, JLC's and sheltered professions, in order to get people back to work, he said