The country's unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in June from 5.2% in May - the lowest level since October 2007 - new figures from the Central Statistics Office show today.

The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of people who were unemployed stood at 120,200 in June, a decrease of 34,300 on the same time last year.

Unemployment has fallen consistently for the last six years since the jobless rate peaked at 16% in 2012. 

The rate is now below the level the Department of Finance had forecast it would be on average during 2019 and 2020.

The CSO made a substantial downwards revision of the May unemployment rate from 5.8% to 5.3% after the publication of its most recent Labour Force Survey, which showed faster than expected jobs growth in the first quarter.

It further revised that figure downwards to 5.2% today.

The CSO said today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for men was 5.1% in June, down from  7.2% in June last year, while the unemployment rate for women was 5.2% compared to 5.9% in June 2017.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate fell to 11.4% in June from 11.8% in May.

The country's unemployment rate is over three percentage points below the current euro zone average of 8.4%.

Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that the rise in employment appears far from over. 

The economist said that the most recent Labour Force Survey figures showed that the participation rate was flat in the year to the end of March at 62.1%, compared with a pre-recession peak of 66.7%. 

"Greater participation should slow down the fall in the jobless rate, but as things are going at the moment, an unemployment rate of 5% is likely for July," he said. 

"Indeed, come the end of the year it could have dropped to as low as 4.5%. An average unemployment rate of 5.1% is projected for 2018 as a whole, down from 6.7% last year," he added.

Commenting on today's figures, Tara Sinclair - economist at jobs website Indeed - said its research reveals the pace of hiring activity is intensifying, with sectors like construction, hospitality and finance making the biggest efforts to hire more staff.

There was a 52% increase in the share of job postings for hospitality roles in the first quarter of this year compared to last year and a 42% increase in the construction sector.

There has also been a sharp uplift in companies looking to recruit staff for financial services roles in Ireland, up 15% compared to last year. 

"Job areas like risk management, investment analysis and portfolio management have all seen particularly strong increases, and the staffing needs of financial companies increasing their footprint in Dublin in response to Brexit is likely to be one of the factors driving this trend," the economist said. 

But the tighter labour market is already feeding into higher wages, and Tara Sinclair said that trend is likely to continue as the war for talent intensifies between employers.