The number of people on the Live Register fell by 2,200 (0.9%) to 233,100 in March - the lowest total recorded since July 2008.

Latest figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a total of 233,100 people on the register last month.

In unadjusted terms, Live Register numbers have fallen by 34,836 (-13%) since March last year.

The number of male claimants decreased by 23,135 (-14.9%) to 132,581 in the year to March 2018, while female claimants decreased by 11,701 (-10.5%) to 99,785.

The number of long-term claimants on the Live Register in March was 94,733.

The Live Register figures follow statistics from the CSO earlier in the week that showed the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1% between February and March.

Today's figures also show there were 49,466 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in March, which represents 21.3% of the total Live Register. 

This compares with 22.2% at the same time last year, when there were 59,260 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register. 

The number of over 25s on the register fell by 12.3% to 29,025 in the year to March, while the under 25s cohort was 18.8% lower at 5,811.

Annual decreases for people aged under 25 have occurred in all months since July 2010.

There were 18,668 new registrants on the Live Register in March, consisting of 9,317 Jobseeker's Allowance (JA) claims, 8,728 Jobseekers Benefit (JB) claims and 623 "Other Registrants".

Males accounted for 52.1% (9,731) and females 47.9% (8,937) of all new registrants.

The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment as it includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) or Jobseeker's Allowance (JA).