The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 157,700 in December 2016, down 2,800 when compared to the November 2016 figure and a decrease of 35,500 when compared to December 2015.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 8.1 percent, down from 8.4 percent in November and down from 10.6 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 6.1 percent, unchanged from the previous month and down from 6.9 percent in December 2015. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,700 to 97,100 from the previous month, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 100 to 60,600.
Youth unemployment rate fell to 14.5 percent, the lowest reading since July 2008, from 15.4 percent in the previous month.
Unemployment has fallen sharply since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.2 percent in the first two months of 2012.