Live Register figures to be published tomorrow will show an increase of 13,300 people signing on for the past five weeks. This compares with an increase of 10,900 last month.

When seasonal factors are taken into account the increase for January is 8,000, compared with a seasonally adjusted increase of 3,300 last month. This will bring the headline total for those signing on at 436,900.

The estimated unemployment rate is now 12.7%, compared with 12.5% last month. The Budget forecast an average unemployment rate of 13.2% for the year.

Meanwhile, redundancy figures released this evening show a small increase in the first month of this year compared with January last year.

Just under 6,700 lay-offs were notified to the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, an increase of 1.7% from the same month last year.

The building and manufacturing sectors were among those with the biggest number of lay-offs last month.

Last year, the number of redundancies jumped by almost 90% to 77,000 people. The Central Statistics Office is due to release the January Live Register figures tomorrow.