Unemployment benefit clamaints fell by more than 34,000 last year
The number of people signing on for unemployment benefits fell by more than 34,000 last year.
The latest report on the live register revealed 321,616 men and women receiving the dole in December.
The Central Statistics Office said the number of men getting state payments while out of work fell by 25,120 over the course of the year and the number of women decreased by 9,376.
But while jobs are being created and the unemployment rate is reducing, the crisis continues in some sectors with the number of people signing on for benefits for a year or more now making up almost half of the total.
According to the CSO the live register had 146,174 long-term claimants in December.
A fifth of those signing on were c asual and part-time workers while 38,726 were under 25.
The Government heralded job creation reports earlier this week with firms supported by Enterprise Ireland credited with adding more than 10,000 posts to the economy and IDA Ireland-backed firms creating just under 19,000 jobs in 2015.