New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate held steady at a near 14-year low of 4.5% in June.

The jobless rate is at the lowest level since October 2005 - a dramatic recovery from the financial crisis when the rate soared to 16%.

It is also down from an unemployment rate of 5.9% in June of last year.  

But the CSO also said the seasonally adjusted number of unemployed rose by 300 to 109,700 in June from 109,400 in May.

Today's figures show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for men was 4.7% in June, down from a rate of 6% the same time last year, while the jobless rate for females fell to 4.3% from 5.7% last year.

But the seasonally adjusted youth unemployment edged up to 10.1% in June compared to 10% in May. 

Commenting on today's figures, independent economist Alan McQuaid said that although the overall number of people out of work picked up marginally in June, the rise in employment appears far from

He said the latest Labour Force Survey figures showed that the participation rate stood at 62% in the first quarter of 2019, compared with a pre-recession peak of 66.7%. 

Greater participation should slow down the fall in the jobless rate, he added.

"As regards 2019, a net jobs gain of 70,000 is forecast notwithstanding global trade concerns and Brexit uncertainty. However, employment growth is likely to slow in 2020," the economist added.

Pawel Adrjan, economist at global job site Indeed, said that while the downward trajectory of the rate of unemployment paused for breath in June, the employment story in Ireland remains extremely positive.

He said that despite the fact that the unemployment rate is nearing its historical low, there are still over 40,000 long-term unemployed people who are being left behind in the current job boom. 

"With ample demand for workers it would be a sensible policy priority to redouble efforts to give this cohort the training, support and incentives required for them to get back in to work," he added.

The economist also cautioned on the ever-present risk of a no-deal Brexit. 

The Government has warned that 55,000 jobs could be lost in the first two years of a disorderly Brexit, and as many as 85,000 jobs over the longer term. 

"This stark warning is a reminder that the downward trajectory for unemployment that Ireland has experienced could be reversed by external events largely beyond Ireland's control," Mr Adrjan added.