Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Irish jobless rate at decade high

House construction - generic
In September Ireland said it entered a recession

Ireland saw its unemployment rate reach its highest level in a decade in October, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The rate reached 6.7% last month, the highest since September 1998.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose by 11,734 for the month to a total of 251,951 - the most since August 1997.

Ireland officially fell into a recession in September as its economy shrank for two consecutive quarters.

"The increase in unemployment is regrettable but unfortunately not surprising given the dramatic slowdown in the global and national economy," Prime Minister Brian Cowen said in a statement.

The unemployment rate of 6.7% was up sharply September's 5.1% rate.

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