Ireland's unemployment rate is now 3.1% higher than the EU average with a further 100,000 jobs being lost in the last 12 months.

The latest figures are contained in the Government's Quarterly Household Survey.

However, the figures also show the rate of decline has eased slightly to 5.5%, compared to an 8.1% decline in the amount of people at work a year ago.

Unemployment now stands at 12%, comparable to figures last seen in 1995, while the amount of people at work compares to figures last seen in 1998.

The average unemployment rate across the EU is 9.1%.

The participation of foreign nationals in the workforce fell by almost 16%, or 53,500 people, in the past 12 months.

Employment in the construction industry has fallen 50% since its peak in 2007.

The long-term unemployment rate has increased to 5.3%, or over 112,000 people, compared to 2.2% a year ago.