New figures show that the number of people signing on the Live Register increased at a record rate of almost 50% in the year to September.

The Central Statistics Office said the seasonally adjusted figure for September was 244,500, an increase of 9,400 from August.

The unadjusted figure fell back by just over 7,000 to 240,217, but the September figure usually drops as students return to college. The unadjusted figure is up 49.5% since the same period last year, beating the previous month's record rise of 42%.

The unemployment rate moved up from 6.1% in August to 6.3%. The monthly increase in the seasonally adjusted figure was made up of 5,800 men and 3,500 women.