New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the seasonally adjusted Live Register total increased from 164,200 in September to 164,700 in October, an increase of 500. This compares with an increase of 2,200 in September.

The CSO says that in the year to October 2007, there was an unadjusted increase of 8,943 (6%). This compares with an unadjusted increase 8,345 (5.5%) in the year to September 2007.

The standardised unemployment rate in October rose to 4.8% from 4.7% the previous month, the figures also show.

The monthly change on the Live Register was made up of an increase of 900 males and a decrease of 400 females, which would point to a slowing down in the construction industry.