The employment rate for women in the Irish labour force has breached the 60% level for the first time.

The latest quarterly household survey from the Central Statistics Office, for the third quarter of this year, shows 60.3% of women aged 15 to 64 are now in employment.

The figures show that overall employment continues to grow strongly, having grown by 83,000, or 4.2%, in the year to the end of August.

Almost half of that growth came from non-Irish nationals.

The figures show nationals from the new EU accession states were the fastest growing category.

But the numbers of non-Irish nationals from outside the EU in the labour force has also increased significantly so far this year.

Employment grew most strongly in the construction and health sectors, with these areas accounting for just over half of total employment growth.