The number of people signing on to the Live Register in October decreased by 1,600 to 162,100 from 163,700 in September, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures from the Central Statistics Office today.

This compares with a decrease of 800 in October last year, the CSO added.

The unadjusted figure showed a drop of 4,990 to 155,476, a fall of 3.1%. The corresponding decrease in October 2003 was 2.5%.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.4% in October, down from 4.5% in September, the CSO said.