10pc fall in dole figures but more youths sign on
The unemployment rate dropped to 10.5pc last month, according to the Central Statistics Office.
There were 358,672 people on the live register, representing a decrease of 40,958 or 10.2pc, compared with the same month last year.
The unemployment rate is now down from a crisis peak of 15pc.
However, the National Youth Council of Ireland expressed disappointment at the increase in the number of young people on the live register.
It said there were 1,361 more young people under the age of 25 signing on the live register last month, compared with the December figure.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said there has been a continuing fall in the numbers signing on, marking 38 consecutive months of decrease.
The figures show that in gross terms more than 141,000 people left the live register to take up work last year.
This means that the exit rate from the live register into work is running at almost 40pc, up from 33pc in 2012.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association welcomed the drop, but cautioned the Government that the creation of jobs was being impeded by "loose talk and promises of wage increases".
ISME CEO Mark Fielding said that two thirds of all jobs are created by small and medium-sized enterprises in a growing economy.
"The key issue for business is cost and nothing stops job creation as fast as a threat of wage increases," he said.
The seasonally adjusted total for January, which includes casual and part-time workers, stood at 360,200, according to the newly released figures from the CSO.