Bruton rules out wage increases as employment rises
Richard Bruton has ruled out wage increases amid further signs of economic recovery.
The Jobs Minister welcomed new figures showing the number of people at work at its highest in nearly five years.
The Central Statistics Office has said more than 1.9 million people are now at work, the largest number since the end of 2009.
Unemployment is also continuing to fall nationally, although there was a sharp rise in the western region in the second quarter of the year.
Minister Bruton says the focus had to be on continuing to create jobs.
"I don't believe the priority is for wage increases," he said. "The priority is to continue to focus on employment opportunities - we have to create the opportunities for enterprises to grow."