Ireland's live register total rose to a seasonally adjusted 388,600 in April from 372,800 in March, the Central Statistics Office said in a report on Wednesday. The number of people claiming jobless benefit thus climbed 15,800 from the previous month and grew 188,800 from April 2008.

The standardized unemployment rate increased to 11.4% in April from 11% last month.

Earlier in the day, the Economic and Social Research Institute said the Irish economy is forecast to contract 8.3% this year, after declining 2.2% in 2008. Further, the institute said unemployment rate would average 13.2% in 2009. The think tank expects employment fall of 102,800 in 2010 and sees the jobless rate to average 16.8% in 2010.

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