LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.1 percent in September, the state statistics service said on Tuesday.
The number of unemployed stood at 133,200 in September, down 200 compared with August and 31,600 lower compared with a year ago, the Central Statistics Office said.
Employment has grown strongly since the jobless rate peaked at 15.1 percent in 2012 when Ireland was midway through a three-year international bailout, and expanded at its fastest rate since the financial crisis in the first quarter of the year.
Ireland’s finance department forecasts that the unemployment rate will dip below 6 percent by the end of this year, meaning the economy could reach full employment next year with the rate forecast to remain at 5.5 percent from 2018 onwards.
Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Alistair Smout