New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people signing on the Live Register continued to fall in February.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Live Register total saw a monthly decrease of 3,500 or 1.8%.

This brought the seasonally adjusted total on the Live Register to 196,500 – the lowest number recorded since the series began in February 2008. 

Today's figures show that the number of men signing on the Live Register in February fell by 2.1%, while the number of women decreased by 1.6%.

The CSO said the number of men who were claiming benefits decreased by 17.7% to 111,317 in the year to February 2019, while the number of women was down by 14.4% to 85,617. 

In the year to February, the number of young people on the Live Register decreased by 18.6% – continuing the monthly trend first started in July 2010.

Today's figures also showed there were 41,264 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in February – which represents 21% of the total Live Register. 

In the year to February 2019, the number of casual and part-time workers decreased by 18%, with the number of men down 21.1% and the number of women falling by 14.8%.

The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment as it includes part-time workers – those who work up to three days a week – as well as seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) or Jobseeker's Allowance (JA).

Statistics earlier this week from the CSO showed that the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in February, down from the revised rate of 5.7% in January.