The number of people on the Live Register fell in February on a monthly basis, but was higher on an annual basis, new figures from Central Statistics Office show.
A total of 186,702 people were on the Live Register in February on a seasonally adjusted basis - a fall of 2,800, or 1.4%, on the January figures.
But compared to February 2020 the figure was more than 4,000 higher - a rise of more than 2.2%.
Today's figures also show that 468,847 people were receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment last month, down more than 2.5% compared to January.
Of these, 55% were male and almost a quarter were in each of the 25 to 34-year-old (22.1%) and the 35 to 44-year-old (22.8%) age groups.