The number of people signing on the Live Register recorded a monthly decrease of 3,400 - a fall of 1.4% - in February, according to figures released today from the Central Statistics Office.

This brought the seasonally adjusted total to 234,900 - the lowest number since August 2008.

The CSO said that in unadjusted terms there were 235,344 persons signing on the Live Register in February, down 14.4% on the same time last year.

This represents an annual decrease of 39,749.

The Live Register does not measure unemployment. It includes part-time workers, as well as season and casual workers who are entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Today's figures also show that the number of male claimants decreased by 15.3% to 135,333 in the year to February, while women signing on fell by 13.3% to 100,011. 

Meanwhile, the number of long term claimants on the Live Register last month stood at 96,574.

In February 2018, 138,770 of all claimants on the Live Register were short term claimants, which represents an annual fall of 12.2%.

The number of people aged 25 and over on the Live Register decreased by 33,920, a drop of -13.9%.