New figures show that the number of people signing on the Live Register in May fell by another 1.8% to stand at the lowest level since July 2008.

The Central Statistics Office said the number of people on the Live Register fell by 4,100 last month to bring the seasonally adjusted total to 224,900. 

In unadjusted terms, the CSO said that 223,502 people were on the Live Register in May - down 14.9% on the same time last year.

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

Figures earlier this week from the CSO showed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May from 5.9% in April. 

Today's CSO figures also reveal that the number of men signing on the Live Register fell by 2.1% on a monthly basis, while the number of women dropped by 1.4%.

The number of male claimants decreased by 16.2% to 127,699 in the year to May, while female claimants decreased by 13.1% to 95,803, the CSO added. 

The latest figures also show that the number of long term claimants on the Live Register fell by 16.8% on an annual basis to reach 94,697.

Meanwhile, the number of people under the age of 25 decreased by 18.6% in May and the CSO said that annual decreases in youth unemployment have now occurred every month since July 2010.