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All island unemployment rate is still rising

Seasonally-adjusted figures from the Central Statistics Office show the unemployment rate rose to 12.4 percent in the third quarter, up from 11.6 percent in the second quarter, the Irish Times reported.

The increase represented the smallest quarter-on-quarter increase since the first quarter of 2008, the reported added. But it marked a huge jump when compared to same period in 2008

Overall, there were 120,400 more people unemployed in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. This is an increase of 75.5 percent.

According to the figures, a total of 279,800 people were unemployed in the Republic in the third quarter of this year, with unemployed males accounting for 68.6 percent of the total unemployed and females representing 31.4 percent.

This reveals that the level of male unemployment increased by 86.8 percent on the year, while female unemployment saw a 55.3 percent increase. The primary reason given for the greater increase in male unemployment was the large decline in employment in the construction sector.

The Irish government is calculating that unemployment will continue to rise and hit 13.2 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the jobless number is also heading upwards. The number bow stands at 54,000, this according to the latest estimate.

The increase in unemployment claims over the past year has been 56 percent, 19,300 people in numerical terms.

"The view of most economic commentators is that there will be a time lag before any recovery in business confidence is translated into jobs growth," said the North's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster who recently visited New York and Boston in an effort to drum up U.S. investment and resulting jobs for the North.

Separately, Kamala S. Lakhdhir, the United States Consul General in Northern Ireland said that recent announcements from the New York Stock Exchange and Broadsoft has underscored Northern Ireland's potential as a viable and competitive place in which to do business.

"In a similar vein, many local companies are looking to the U.S. as a means of expanding their operations," she said.

Consul General Lakhdhir said it was to be hoped that Minister Foster's visit to the U.S. would "help build on these mutually beneficial achievements."

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