Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people signing on the Live Register fell by 3,500 on a seasonally adjusted basis in October.

This brings the seasonally adjusted total to 371,400, which is its lowest total since March 2009 and the 28th monthly fall in a row.

The CSO said that the standardised unemployment rate in October eased to 11%, down from 11.1% in September.

This is below the euro zone average of 11.5% and down from a peak of 15.1% in February 2012.

Today's figures show that the number of men signing on last month decreased by 1.3%, while the number of women decreased by 0.4%.

They also reveal that the number of long-term claimants on the Live Register last month fell by 6.3% to 170,892.

The CSO noted that the number of male long-term claimants fell by over 10%, but the number of female long-term claimants rose by 2.4%.

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that while emigration has been a contributory factor in bringing down the numbers on the Live Register over the past couple of years, there is clear evidence that there is more to it than just that.

Employment conditions in the majority of sectors in the economy have generally improved in the past few months, he added.

Mr McQuaid predicted that the level of unemployment will continue to fall in the final two months of 2014, dropping to 10.8% by the close of the year.

"As regards the average rate for this year, we are looking for a figure of 11.4%, down from 13.1% in 2013.

"Assuming the economy continues to grow strongly in 2015, an average jobless rate of close to 10% is envisaged for next year," he added.

Noting that while the number of long-term unemployed fell last month, Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said today's figures show that the issue remains a serious problem.

Mr O'Sullivan said there were 170,892 people unemployed for one year or more, which equates to 47.7% of all those out of work compared to 46% in October last year.

"While the number of long-term unemployed people has fallen by 11,509 over the past year, the pace of reduction remains disappointingly slow," he added.