June 6, 2018 / 10:28 AM / a year ago

Irish unemployment rate edges lower to 5.8 percent

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s unemployment rate edged lower to 5.8 percent in May from 5.9 percent a month earlier when it fell below 6 percent for the first time in a decade, data from the central statistics office showed on Tuesday.

Unemployment in Ireland was last below 6 percent in May 2008 just as its economic crisis bit, doubling the rate of joblessness in less than a year and swelling it to a peak of 16 percent by 2012.

The rate has fallen steadily since and Ireland’s independent fiscal watchdog said on Wednesday that unemployment could fall as low as 4.5 percent next year as the fast-growing economy approaches full employment.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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