Irish unemployment falls to post-crash low of 7.3 per cent

DUBLIN – Government statisticians say Ireland’s unemployment rate has declined to an eight-year low last achieved before a 2008 banking crisis wrecked a property-driven Celtic Tiger economy.

The Central Statistics Office says in Tuesday’s report that joblessness fell to 7.3 per cent this month from 7.5 per cent in October. Irish unemployment has steadily fallen from a 2012 peak of 15.1 per cent.

Ireland in 2010 faced bankruptcy after its struggle to save debt-crippled banks ruined the nation’s own credit ratings. The country has rebounded strongly since exiting an international bailout in 2013, with Europe-leading growth rates driven by the exports of approximately 1,000 resident multinationals.

Job growth is strongest in food services and construction. Ireland this year has started to reverse seven straight years of net emigration chiefly to Britain, Canada and Australia.