New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people signing on the Live Register in July fell by 3,200 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

This reduced the total on the Live Register to 419,200 and marked the 13th month in a row of decreases. It was also the lowest level since August 2009.

The CSO said that the standardised unemployment rate in July fell to 13.5% from a rate of 13.6% in June. This was the lowest level since April 2010.

Today's figures show that in unadjusted terms, a total of 441,976 people were signing on the Live Register this month, down 4% on an annual basis.

Breaking down the figures, they show a monthly decrease of 2,200 males signing on in July, while there was a decrease of 900 women.

The number of long-term claimants on the Live Register stood at 197,571 in July.

The CSO said the number of male long term claimants fell by 3.7% in the year to July while the number of women claimants rose by 4.7%.

There were 87,419 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register this month, which represents 19.8% of the total register.

In the year to July, the number of people aged 25 and over on the Live Register fell by 2.7% and the number of people aged under 25 fell by 10.1%.

The CSO noted that youth unemployment has decreased every month since July 2010 which is likely due to increased levels of emigration.

Commenting on the figures, Davy economist David McNamara said they point to a significant improvement in the labour market in 2013.

He said that encouragingly, the number of long-term claimants on the Live Register has also begun to stabilise.

Mr McNamara said emigration may be a factor in the fall as well as a pick-up in hiring.

The population and migration statistics later in the year should shed more light on the contribution of emigration to the unemployment numbers, he added.