Unemployment across The Avondhu region has continued to fall at a steady pace the latest statistics have shown, while nationally, unemployment has fallen below 8% for the first time since the economic crisis in 2008.

The employment rate stood at 7.9% in April, indicating that employment rose by 2.4%, or 46,900, in the first four months of 2016.

In Fermoy, the number of people signing on the Live Register was 1,598, down over 20% since April 2015. This relates to a drop of 24.9% in male unemployment and a 14.7% decrease in female unemployment.

A smaller decrease over the past 12 months was noted in Dungarvan, where the numbers signing on fell by 8.5% – 11.8% for males and 3.6% for females. The overall number of people on the Live Register here fell from 1,692 to 1,559.

In Cahir it fell by 10.2%, where again the disparity between males and females was evident – with a 14.1% drop in the number of males signing on, against just a 5% decrease in female numbers.

Across Limerick County, unemployment fell by over 12%, down from 14,160 to 12,724.

Welcoming the news, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, ensuring that this positive trend continues, is one of the key priorities in her new portfolio.

“The challenge is to ensure that we continue to sustain this progress that every county is affected by job creation.”

“I want to ensure that we give the right supports to small business so that we encourage and enable more people to start their own business and create jobs right across the country.  This will ensure that all regions benefit from the knock on societal effects of job growth,” she said.