More people are returning to work this week as the retail sector re-opens.
The number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the midlands has fallen below 17,000 for the first time since January.
16,283 people in the region are receiving the income support today - while 1,462 people closed their claim in the last week to return to work.
Nationally, almost 13,500 fewer people are claiming the PUP payment this week, as retail re-opens.
Accommodation and food service remains the sector worst affected by unemployment.