Irish employment tops 2 million for 1st time since crash

DUBLIN (AP) " Statisticians say the number of people in Ireland with a full-time job has topped 2 million for the first time since the country's property-driven economy suffered a calamitous crash in 2008.

Tuesday's figures from the Central Statistics Office say unemployment has fallen to 6.8 percent, an 8 -year low, while the number of people with full-time employment has climbed 3.3 percent to 2.05 million, approaching the peak levels of Ireland's lost Celtic Tiger boom.

Ireland faced financial ruin in 2010 as the costs of sustaining taxpayer-insured banks overwhelmed national finances and destroyed the country's ability to fund its own debts. Ireland's unemployment rate rose above 15 percent in 2012 amid surging emigration, but the country has returned to Europe-leading growth rates since ending reliance on international bailout loans in 2013.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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