Unemployment rate for last month unchanged at 8.8%

Numbers of those out of work down from 10.2% twelve months earlier

Updated 12.10

The unemployment rate last month was 8.8%.

That was unchanged from November and down from a rate of 10.2% in December 2014. 

The seasonally adjusted number of people on the live register was 190,600 in December.

A decrease of 29,200 when compared to December 2014.

Fig shows monthly unemployment rate, December 2012 to December 2015

Meanwhile Enterprise Ireland client companies created more than 21,000 jobs last year, but there were nearly 11,000 job losses, leaving a net increase of 10,169.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton says it's a record year:

"That's the highest even since the foundation of Enterprise Ireland, it is the highest ever in records that we can detect for 20 years or more. Every single sector is growing jobs, every region is growing jobs, we have a really vibrant start-up sector now."

Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist with Investec Ireland, says the dole queues should keep shrinking:

"One of the most interesting things that we are seeing is that the number of people who emigrated over the past couple of years, they are starting to come home. So we do expect that the labour market in Ireland should grow significantly from its current levels unemployment should go below 8% by the end of this year, and should hover around 7.5% by the end of next year."