New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the numbers signing on the Live Register fell by 3,400 in August, on a seasonal basis, to stand at 415,300.

The CSO said that the standardised unemployment rate in August 2013 was 13.4%, down from 13.5% in July 2013.

The proportion of part-time and casual workers included on the Live Register is now 19.6%, compared to 19.1% in August 2012.

Breaking down the figures, they show that during August - on a seasonally adjusted basis - the number of males signing on fell by 3,000, while the number of females declined by 500.

The figures are subject to rounding by the CSO.

Over the course of the year to the end of August, the number of male claimants declined by 20,182 (7%), while the number of females signing on declined by just 794 (0.5%).

The number of long term claimants - those signing on for more than one year - fell by 2.3% compared with a year ago. The number of persons aged under 25 on the Live Register fell by 10.5%, while those aged over 25 fell by 3.3%.

The proportion of under 25's signing on has fallen from 18.9% in August 2011 to 17.6% last year and 16.5% last month.

A separate CSO report on "job churn" records the first positive job creation figure since 2007. The job churn figures compare the number of jobs which have been created with the number of jobs lost as companies close or lay off workers.

The latest available job churn figures from the CSO are for 2011 and show a rise in the rate of job creation from 12% to 14% during the period. The rate of "job destruction" fell over the year from 18% to 13% meaning the number of positions created during the year outstripped the number of job losses for the first time in four years.

The job creation figures, however, include part time and temporary positions. A part time position which provides a job for a person for one week is given the same weight as a full time job in which an employee worked for a firm for the entire year.