There was a reduction of 5.7% last month in the combined numbers of people on the Live Register and receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). 

According to the latest figures from the CSO, there were 617,441 people on both the Live Register and PUP last month. 

The seasonally adjusted figure for the Live Register in March was 186,300, down 2,700 compared to February.

In the last week in March, there were 443,247 people in receipt of the PUP.

The numbers on the PUP are down 25,644 compared to February but up 49,274 compared to March of last year.

This is the first annual comparison in PUP numbers.

The numbers on the PUP fluctuate depending on the level of pandemic restrictions in place. 

Of those in receipt of the PUP, 54.6% were male; 45.4% were female.

106,865 or 24.1% were under 25.

336,382 or 75.9% were over 25. 

The CSO estimates that 8.1% of those in receipt of the PUP since March 2020 were in full time education.

33.3% of those under 25 in receipt of the payment are estimated to be in full time education.

These people would not be eligible for unemployment benefit or assistance.