Live Register figures for November, released today (Wednesday, 4th December), showing a decrease of 25,400 in the number of people signing on since the start of 2013 are a positive sign for the economy according to SIPTU economist, Marie Sherlock. She said: “The standardised unemployment rate at 12.5% in November 2013, is down from 14.1% in the same period last year. These figures must be welcomed as they reflect an acceleration in the pace of reduction of the Live Register. Taking these statistics, along with last week's figures showing a significant increase in employment, there seems to be the basis for genuine hope that the economy is developing some positive momentum. However, caution is needed as the impact of emigration on this process remains unclear.”She added: “Over the year to date, the decline in the Live Register has been largely a male phenomenon. Men have accounted for 87% of the fall off, with the number of females signing on stagnating.  However, there has been a marginal downward trend in the number of females signing on since August this year. It is hoped that the pace of women leaving the Live Register will pick up in 2014.”