New figures show that the number of people signing on the Live Register in May fell by 2,600 (0.7%) to stand at 347,100 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The figures from the Central Statistic Office show that, in unadjusted terms, the number of people signing on the Live Register decreased by 11.1% in May compared to the same time last year.

Numbers signing on the Live Register have now effectively fallen for about three years in a row. 

The Live Register figures for May show a monthly decrease of 2,500 in the number of men signing on, while the number of women declined by 200.

Earlier this week, a new set of statistics from the Central Statistics Office revealed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May stood at 9.8%, unchanged from the April rate. 

The figure is also down sharply from the unemployment rate of 11.7% the same month last year.

The Live Register shows the the number of people registering for Unemployment Assistance/Benefit or for various other social welfare payments and it also includes seasonal and part-time workers.

The new Monthly Unemployment figures give what the CSO describe as more detailed and timely Labour Market statistics. 

Today's Live Register figures from the CSO also show that the number of long term claimants fell by 11.7% or 21,486 to stand at 161,881 in May.

The CSO also noted that 53.2% of all claimants on the Live Register last month were short term claimants. This compared to 52.8% in May of last year.