For the first time since August, the number of people signing on the Live Register has increased with more than 5,000 people signing on in December alone, new figures show.

The Central Statistics Office said that the figures were comprised by 4,800 men and 400 women and means the total number of people on the Live Register now stands at 444,000.

They added that “standardized unemployment rate in December was 13.4%, up from13.2% in November”.

All regions in Ireland recorded an increase in register figures for December, the largest being in the south-east, with almost 4 percent. The lowest increase was reported in Dublin with 1.6 percent.