New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate was unchanged on a monthly basis in September at 4.3% and was down from 5.2% from the same time last year.

The rate of 4.3% in September was also lower than the pre-pandemic level of 4.9% recorded in September 2019.

The jobless rate has bounced up and down on a monthly basis this year in a tight labour market and it hit a 21-year low of 4.2% in July.

Today's CSO figures also show the unemployment rate for men was unchanged at 4.2% from August, and down from 5.3% in September last year.

It was also down to 4.3% for women from a rate of 4.5% in August, and down from 5.1% the same month last year.

The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of people who were unemployed stood at 116,900 in September, compared with 117,700 in August.

There was a decrease of 18,500 in the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed in September of this year compared with a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate rose to 12.4% from a revised rate of 11.8% in August, today's figures also reveal.

Commenting on today's figures, Andrew Webb, te chief economist at Grant Thornton Ireland, said that for all the genuine fear in the economy about inflation, the labour market continues to hold its nerve.

He said this reflects how business sentiment has been holding up better than the consumer tracker.

"Unemployment rates are now lower than pre-pandemic levels, a remarkable performance when considering how uncertain training conditions have been in recent years," Mr Webb said.

"The key question as we head into winter will be whether the labour market can continue to confound predictions of an economic slowdown. With pressure coming on business via inflated energy costs and other input inflation, the labour market risks are mounting," he added.