The Government says there has been a drop in the number of long-term beneficiaries, but its welfare targets are far from being reached.
The first progress report has been issued on how its public service targets are being met, which shows the number of long-term beneficiaries has fallen by 2846.
At that rate, it will fall short of its 2017 target by some 8700 people.
Acting Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said the drop is a result of impending changes to the criteria for long-term beneficiaries.
Once those changes are implemented next week, Mr Borrows said he expects the numbers to drop further.