**But is fourth highest in eurozone**
The pace of increase of unemployment eased in January, as the number of registered unemployed rose by 23.8% over the year earlier to 45,933, having increased by 26.5% in December, 24.2% in November and 29.0% in October.
This was the slowest pace of increase since August 2011.
In absolute terms registered unemployment rose to 45,933 from 37,102 in January 2012, while on a seasonally adjusted basis unemployment increased to 40,496 persons from 40,074 in the previous month.
As the empty shop-fronts can attest, wholesale and retail trade sector workers took the main hit, with unemployment in this category up 2,023 year on year.
Despite a fairly good year for tourism in 2012 unemployment in accommodation and food service rose 1,426 year on year and construction was up 1,057.
Public administration rose 850 and manufacturing increased by 730.
Unemployed newcomers to the labour market increased by 786.
Despite the improvement in relative terms in the pace of increase, Eurostat estimates that the unemployment rate reached 14.7% in November.
Together with Ireland and Slovakia this was the fourth highest rate in the eurozone after Greece (26.8%), Spain (26.1%) and Portugal (16.5%).
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