New and revised data from the Central Statistics Office today shows that the unemployment rate fell to a 21-year low of 4.2% in both May and July.

Provisional data had shown the jobless rate hovering at the level it stood at before the Covid-19 pandemic before the May reading was revised down to 4.2% from 4.7% and June amended to 4.3% from 4.8% previously.

Unemployment had stood at 5.8% in July of last year.

The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of people who were unemployed stood at 113,000 in July, compared with 113,900 in June.

There was a decrease of 36,000 in the seasonally adjusted number of people without a job from a year earlier, the CSO added.

Today's figures show that the seasonally adjusted number of men who were unemployed stood at 58,200 in July, compared with 59,600 in June.

The seasonally adjusted number of women who were unemployed in July came to 54,800, down from 54,300 in the previous month.

Meanwhile the rate of youth unemployment rose to 10.9% in July from a revised rate of 10.8% in June.

Commenting on today's figures, Jack Kennedy, an economist at global job site Indeed, said that despite inflationary pressures and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the jobless rate is expected to continue its downward trajectory in coming months.

Mr Kennedy noted that last month the ESRI upgraded its already positive employment outlook and is now predicting the rate of unemployment will fall to 4% next year.

The economist also said that a positive trend that can help relieve labour market stress is Ireland's attractiveness to workers from other countries.

"Recent Indeed research showed that Ireland is one of only five countries in Europe experiencing a "brain gain" rather than "brain drain", meaning the country experiences more interest from inbound jobseekers than those in Ireland looking for jobs overseas," he stated.

"Ireland's attractiveness to new arrivals is supported by census data which showed net inward migration of over 190,000 people between 2016 and 20224. That's almost 32,000 people each year, with many drawn to the available employment opportunities, particularly in high skilled areas like IT, finance and professional services, all sectors where employment levels continued to grow even during the pandemic," he added.