The number of people on the Live Register was 8.5% lower in July when compared to the same month of 2013, according to the Central Statistics Office.

There were 3,400 fewer claimants in July when compared to June, according to the CSO, bringing the total figure to 382,800 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In July 2013 the same figure stood at 419,000.

As a result, the unemployment rate now stands at 11.5% - down 0.1% on last month’s figure and 0.6% lower than in January.

The majority of those on the Live Register - 53.4% - were categorised as short term claimants by the end of July, down slightly on the same month of last year.

During that time, there has been a 17% fall in the number of people claiming on the Live Register for a year or less, according to the CSO, while long-term claimants are 5.7% lower.

Meanwhile, the number of males on the Live Register has fallen by 10.7% in the year to July, while the number of females was 4.9% lower on an annual basis.