6 Nov 2008

Irish jobless rate at 10 year high

3:25 pm on 6 November 2008

Unemployment in Ireland reached its highest level in 10 years in October.

The jobless rate reached 6.7% last month - up sharply on September's rate of 5.1% and the highest since September 1998.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose by 11,734 for the month to a total of 251,951 - the highest figure since August 1997.

Ireland officially fell into a recession in September as its economy shrank for two consecutive quarters.

In a statement, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said the increase was regrettable, but "unfortunately not surprising" given the slowdown in the global and national economy.

The unemployment rate of 6.7% was up sharply on September's rate of 5.1%.