March 5, 2014 / 11:28 AM / 6 years ago

Irish unemployment rate falls below 12 percent in Feb

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Ireland fell for the 20th successive month in February, dropping below 12 percent for the first time since April 2009, data showed on Wednesday.

Those claiming jobless benefits fell by 2,500 to a seasonally adjusted 398,300, down from 450,000 shortly before Ireland sought an EU/IMF bailout three years ago, data from the Central Statistics Office showed.

The February unemployment rate was 11.9 percent, down from a 2012 high of more than 15 percent.

Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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