RTTNews - Thursday, Ireland's Central Statistical Office said in a report that the employment dropped 7.5% year-over-year in the first quarter, compared with a 3.9% fall in the previous quarter. A year ago, employment was up 1.7%.

The number of persons in employment totaled 1.97 million in the first quarter, smaller than the 2.05 million in the previous quarter.

In the first quarter, the unemployment rate increased to 10.2% from 4.9% last year. This was the highest level since 1997.

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