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Jobless figure on par with lowest levels for nine years 

The number of recorded unemployed at the State Public Employment Services fell by 210,484 in the last 12 months at a year-on-year rate of -6.17%.

The total number of recorded unemployed now stands at 3,202,297. Recorded unemployment remains at one of the lowest levels in the last nine years.

In seasonally-adjusted terms, unemployment fell by 8,746 people.

The number of unemployed fell by 50,570 in December when compared with the previous month, a decrease of 1.55%.

Unemployment among men stands at 1,337,244, a decrease of 5,697 (down 0.42%), while unemployment among women stands at 1,865,053, a decrease of 44,873 (down 2.35%) when compared with November. When compared with December 2017, unemployment among men has fallen by 122,482 (down 8.39%) and among women by 88,002 (down 4.51%).

Unemployment among young people under the age of 25 fell by 17,378 in December (down 6.57%) when compared with the previous month. In year-on-year terms, youth unemployment has fallen by 21,194 people at a rate of -7.9% (1.73 points faster than the overall rate of decrease). Unemployment among those aged 25 and above fell by 33,192 (down 1.11%).

By sector of economic activity, recorded unemployment fell in Agriculture by 10,392 (down 6.97%), Services by 43,874 (down 1.93%) and among first-time job-seekers by 10,269 (down 3.66%). In contrast, recorded unemployment rose in the Industrial sector by 3,967 (up 1.42%) and Construction by 9,998 (up 3.74%).

A total of 2,284,924 permanent employment contracts were signed in 2018 as a whole, an increase of 355,674 on the previous year. This figure is the highest since current records began and represents an increase of 18.44% on the total number recorded in 2017.