Almost 500,000 people were on some form of State job support in November, although the figure was down more than 60 per cent on the same month the year before, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The figures show there was a total of 491,912 people on the Live Register or benefiting from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) in the month, which was down from 793,550 a year earlier.
More than 81 per cent of them were aged 25 years or more, while there were marginally more men than women receiving support (50.9 per cent).
The 491,912 supported by all schemes in November is the current low point of the Covid-period series, which began in March 2020. The total for October 2021 (528,915) is the next lowest point of the series. The current high point of the series was reached in April 2020 (1,179,310).
The data also shows that the unadjusted Live Register total for December was comprised of 163,856 people. This consisted of 89,799 men (54.8 per cent) and 74,057 women (45.2 per cent). Of those on the Live Register for December, 90 per cent were over 25 years of age.
On an adjusted basis the numbers of male and female claimants on the Live Register were 90,700 and 75,600 respectively.
At the end of December, 66,905 of those whose income from employment has been affected by Covid-19 were being facilitated through the PUP. There are currently 308,357 less people in receipt of the PUP than at the end of December 2020.
The PUP recipients at the end of December 2021 consisted of 39,454 men (59 per cent) and 27,451 females (41 per cent). Breaking this down by age, 88.2 per cent were 25 years of age or over.
A total of 229,657 people were either on the Live Register or were benefiting from the PUP in December. This compares to 217,101 in the month of November.
In November, 283,525 people were estimated to have been directly supported by the EWSS. There were more people aged 25 years and over (208,926) than under 25 years (70,922). Just over 47 per cent of these were men.