Live Register total falls to pre-crash level
Number of claimants on register falls to 12-year low in December
Seasonally adjusted number of claimants on the Live Register fell to a 12-year low of 185,300 in December
The number of benefit claimants on the Live Register has fallen to pre-crash levels, underlining the turnaround in employment.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show the seasonally adjusted number on the register fell to a 12-year low of 185,300 in December, down 1,100 on the previous month.
The was the lowest level recorded since January 2008.
In unadjusted terms it represented an annual decrease of 17,673 or 8.9 per cent .
While the register is not a measure of unemployment as people with part-time work can be entitled to benefits, it reflects conditions in the labour market in general and has fallen in tandem with the official unemployment measure, which was put at 4.8 per cent last month.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis the latest Live Register shows a monthly decrease of 400 men and 600 women in December.
The number of long-term unemployed on the register at the end of Decemberwas 67,558, which equated to an annual decrease of 15 per cent.