The number of people working in the agriculture forestry and fishing sector declined by almost 10% (-9.3%) or 10,900 people in the last quarter of 2014, the latest statistics from the CSO show.

Its quarterly National Household Survey shows that while employment increased in 11 of the 14 economic sectors over the year it fell in three.

The largest rates of increase were recorded in the Construction (+12.6% or 13,100) and the Financial, insurance and real estate activities (+4.9% or 4,800) sectors.

The figures also show that employment numbers in the agriculture sector have been declining over the past 12 months. Each quarter of 2014 has shown a decrease in employment numbers in the sector from a high in the last quarter of 2013.

The annual increase of 29,100 (+1.5%) in employment was represented by an increase of 14,800 (+1.4%) in male employment and an increase of 14,200 (+1.6%) in female employment over the year.

Unemployment decreased by 39,600 (-15.6%) in the year to Q4 2014 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 213,600. This is the tenth quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis.

The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 2,152,500, representing a decrease of 10,500 (-0.5%) over the year.

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