Ireland's unemployment rate falls to 11 per cent, a 5 1/2-year low, reflecting bailout rebound

DUBLIN – Government statisticians say Ireland’s unemployment rate has fallen to a 5 1/2-year low of 11 per cent, reflecting the country’s steady rebound from a debt crisis and international bailout.

Growth figures, credit ratings, property sales and job opportunities all have gained this year following Ireland’s December 2013 exit from a three-year loan rescue by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Wednesday’s report from the Central Statistics Office found that unemployment last month fell a further tenth of a percentage point to 11.0 per cent, the 28th straight monthly fall from a 2012 peak of 15.1 per cent. Unemployment in the 18-nation eurozone stands at 11.5 per cent.

Economists say Ireland’s jobless figures have been eased by heavy emigration to Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States exceeding 60,000 people annually since 2009.