The country's unemployment rate was revised up to 5.7% for both January and December from an initial estimate of 5.3% following the release of quarterly jobs figures, the Central Statistics Office said today. 

Monthly unemployment rates have been subject to these kinds of revisions in recent quarters and today's change means the jobless rate has remained steady at 5.7% for the last six months.

The unemployment rate had stood at 5.9% in January 2018. 

While the fall in the number of unemployed has slowed, employment continues to grow strongly with the number of people in work in the three months to December up 2.3% year-on-year, the CSO said.

This brings total employment to 2,281,300 in the fourth quarter - a new record high - and the 25th consecutive quarter of employment growth in Ireland.

The CSO said this compares with an annual increase of 3% in employment in the previous quarter and an increase of 3.1% in the year to the fourth quarter of 2017.

The CSO's Labour Force Survey figures show that the increase in total employment of 50,500 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2018 was represented by a 2.7% increase in full-time employment of 2.7% and a 0.5% increase in part-time employment.

The total number of people in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2018 stood at 2,410,100, a rise of 35,300 (1.5%) over the year.  

The CSO said that compares with an annual labour force increase of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

Meanwhile, the number of people not in the labour force in the last three months of 2018 was 1,467,000, an increase of 23,600, or 1.6%, over the year. 

Today's Labour Force Survey figures show that employment increased in 10 of the 14 economic sectors over the year.

The biggest increases were recorded in the administration and support service activities sector, with the level of employment rising by 12.6%, while the construction sector saw a 7.9% increase in jobs.