There was a little more good news on the Irish economy today. Employment recorded a very slight increase.
This is the first annual increase in employment recorded since the second quarter of 2008.
Most of this is accounted for by a fall of 18,000 people who have left the labour force.
The CSO said the annual growth in employment was 0.1% in the fourth quarter of last year.
Although today’s figures show employment growth, the CSO cautions that it is a very small positive figure.
Today’s survey also shows that the long term unemployment rate fell from 9.1% to 8.2% over the year to the fourth quarter. Long term unemployment accounted for 59.9% of total unemployment compared with 62.5% a year earlier and 55.3% in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The CSO said that employment fell in eight of the 14 economic sectors it covers. The biggest rate of decline was seen in the public administration and defence sector (down 6.2%), construction (down 4.3%) and transportation and storage (down 4%).
The biggest rates of increase were recorded in agriculture, forestery and fishing, which rose 12.1% and the information and communication sector, up 7%.
Full time employment fell by 12,800 (0.9%) over the year, but the CSO said this was offset by an increase in part-time employment of 14,000 (up 3.2%).
Live Register figure down 1,400 in February
The Live Register recorded a monthly decrease of 1,400 in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, new figures from the CSO show today.
This brings the seasonally adjusted total to 428,800.
The CSO said that in unadjusted terms, there were 428,876 people signing on the Live Register this month. This represents a yearly decrease of 10,546, or 2.4%.