New figures from the Department of Social Protection show that the number of people who received the weekly Pandemic Unemployment Payment fell again for the 33rd week in a row.

The Department said it issued weekly payments valued at €27.5m to 106,245 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), a fall of 4,525 compared to last week.

The department said the greatest reduction this week was seen in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the figures show that the number of people in receipt of the PUP has now fallen for 33 consecutive weeks.

Since February of this year, the number of young people under the age of 25 who were claiming the PUP has reduced by over 90%, the Minister added.

"We now have nearly half a million fewer people claiming the PUP compared to the peak of the virus last year demonstrating the huge progress that has been made in terms of rolling out our vaccination programme, re-opening the economy and getting people back to work," Minister Humpheys said.

The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 179,761 people who were on the Live Register at the end of August.