Unemployment figures "encouraging"

The number of people out of work fell by 7,000 to 2.59 million in the three months to July, compared with the previous three month period.

The unemployment rate, however, was 8.1% for the same period, up from 8.0% in the previous quarter.

Minister of State for Employment, Mark Hoban, said that the figures were "very encouraging" but there were still some challenges ahead.

Mr Hoban added that the government is doing all it can to get young people into work.

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