Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the numbers of people signing on the Live Register saw a monthly decrease of 1,800 in September.

This brings the seasonally adjusted total to 414,300 and marked the 15th month of decreases in a row.

The CSO said the standardised unemployment rate eased to 13.3% in September from 13.4% in August, which was a three-and-a-half year low.

In unadjusted terms, a total of 408,670 people were signing on the Live Register last month, down 20,665 (4.8%) on the same time last year.

Today's figures show that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Live Register showed a monthly decrease of 1,800 men in September, while the number of women signing on fell by 400.

They also show that the number of long-term claimants signing on fell by 2% in September. The number of male long-term claimants decreased by 4.6%, but the number of female long-term claimants rose by 4.2%.

In the year to September, the number of people aged 25 and over on the dole fell by 3.7%, while the numbers of young people fell by over 10% as a high level of emigration continues.

The CSO noted that the number of people aged under 25 on the Live Register has fallen every month since July 2010.

Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that although emigration has clearly been a factor in bringing the unemployment figures down, there are encouraging signs on the labour market front.

Mr McQuaid said the most recent Quarterly National Household Survey showed a year-on-year net increase of 33,800 in employment in the second quarter of 2013 after a gain of 20,500 in the first quarter.

But unlike the first quarter, the bulk of the annual increase in the April-June period was in full-time rather than part-time jobs.

"Slowly but surely, overall labour market trends are getting better, though it is still likely to be a number of years before the jobless rate is back in single digits," Mr McQuaid said.