The number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week stood at 157,712 – a drop of around 5,700 on last week.
The Department of Social Protection said the weekly payment amounted to €46.7 million.
It was the lowest number receiving the payment since the pandemic began with the greatest reduction observed in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.
“Over 325,000 people have come off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment since February and with many businesses actively advertising for and hiring new staff, I expect this strong trend to continue throughout August,” Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said.
The Department reminded workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the PUP on the day that they start back at work.
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been closed to new claimants since the beginning of July.
From next month, the PUP is to be gradually reduced on a tapered basis over a 6 month period when it will be aligned with the standard jobseeker payments.
The top three rates of PUP will reduce by €50 in September when the maximum weekly rate of €350 will reduce to €300.
The current rate of €300 will reduce to €250 and the current rate of €250 will reduce to €203.
The new payment rates will be reflected in payments received on Tuesday, September 14th.
Two further phases of rate changes are scheduled to take place from mid-November and early February next year.
As PUP recipients go on to the €203 rate in each phase, they will be transitioned to standard jobseeker terms.