The Irish unemployment rate was unchanged in June from the previous month, as evidence from a new survey also suggested that the rapid rise in the number of jobs is slowing.

CSO figures showed that seasonally adjusted numbers on the live register fell by only 500 in the month, much slower than the declines of 1,000 and 1,200 posted in May and April.

As a result, the unemployment rate was unchanged from May, at 9.7%, but sharply lower than the rate of 11.4% in June 2014.

The number of unemployed on the seasonally-adjusted count in June was 208,100, down by 35,900 from the same month last year.
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The figures from the CSO – which only recently started to strip out the unemployment rate and release it separately from its monthly Live Register numbers – are closely scrutinised as the general election nears.

Unemployment peaked at 15.1% in early 2012 and remained at an elevated level for much longer than Ireland’s bailout lenders had anticipated as the eurozone crisis hit export growth and austerity at home weighed on economic growth.

However, Government figures show that Ireland had been creating jobs at the fastest rate realtive to almost anywhere else in Europe since early last year, as the recovery got under way.

Nonetheless, there will be concerns that the sharp falls in unemployment of recent times may now be slowing.

A survey by recruitment firm Cpl published yesterday showed that hiring by multinational companies in areas such as information technology, accountancy, finance, marketing and engineering, continues at a high level.

Though the number of job postings rose 11% in the second quarter this year from a year earlier, the Cpl survey detected a possible slowing in the number of postings.

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