The number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has dropped below 250,000 for the first time this year, new figures from the Department of Social Protection show.
244,197 people are receiving the PUP this week, the lowest level since October 2020 and a decrease of over 23,000 over the last seven days.
The drop in claims reflects the continued reopening of the economy, as people return to work.
58,441 people under the age of 25 remain on the PUP, a decrease of 8,837 people compared to last week - representing the biggest decrease in claims among the age groups.
The PUP figures published today are in addition to the 171,699 people who were on the Live Register at the end of May.
Today's figures show that Dublin is the county with the highest number of people receiving the PUP this week at 87,416, followed by Cork at 22,532 and Galway at 13,218.
The sector with the highest number of people receiving the payment this week is the accommodation and food service sector with 64,675.
However, this sector has also seen the largest decrease, with 12,705 fewer people receiving the payment compared to last week.
The Department of Social Protection said it issued weekly payments valued at €72m to those in receipt of PUP this week, it is also paying €1 million in PUP arrears.
"As the economy continues to re-open in July, I am confident we will see the overall PUP numbers continue to fall in the weeks to come as more and more people return to their jobs or take up new employment opportunities," said Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.