Republic of Ireland unemployment 'lowest in four years'

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Image caption The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years

The unemployment rate in the Republic of Ireland has fallen to its lowest level in four years.

It now stands at 12.8%. The Irish government has welcomed the news but said more needs to be done.

In just over three weeks' time, the Republic of Ireland is due to exit its EU-IMF bailout.

Recent figures show the economy is improving. The latest statistics show an almost 1% drop in the level of unemployment.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed the fall in the rate, but said that exiting the bail-out would mean very little unless more unemployed people were back working.

Economists believe the latest jobless figures suggest that the Irish economy is growing at a rate ahead of forecasts.

The state requires a growth rate of at least 2%, if it is to continue to meet its on-going EU-IMF targets.

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