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Numbers on Pandemic Unemployment Payment fall again

465,900 people are now receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment – a drop of 32,800 over the last week.

This is according to the latest figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection today. 

At the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, 598,000 people who had lost their jobs were claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Since last week, 30,000 people have closed their PUP claim and 17,900 will be receiving their final payment tomorrow. 

A further 225,600 unemployed people are claiming on the Live Register as of the end of May. 

The downward trend in PUP claims reflects the return to work by many claimants as the economy gradually re-opens.

However some of those will be returning to jobs that are now being subsidised by the state through the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).  

An estimated 410,000 employees are currently having their wages supported through the scheme, while over 551,800 have received at least one TWSS subsidy payment at some point since it was launched on March 26. 

61,800 employers have registered for the scheme.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection welcomed the downward trend in PUP claims, saying the statistics constituted clear evidence that many businesses were returning “slowly but surely” – particularly in the construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail sectors. 

But Regina Doherty stressed that her Department continues to support those workers who have not yet gone back to work and particularly those whose jobs are no longer there, with a view to helping them back into new employment safely. 

Since the peak in PUP claims on May 5, the number of PUP recipients from the construction sector has dropped by 50%, manufacturing by 35% and wholesale and retail trade by 30%.  

According to the statistics, this week sees the numbers in the wholesale sector dropping faster than construction for the first time. 

The numbers in the accommodation and food service activities returning to work have also surpassed those returning to work in manufacturing. 

The Department’s statistics also reveal that to date 51,600 people aged up to 66 have been medically certified to receive the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment of €350 per week. 

Of those, just over 7% (3,706) had actually contracted the virus, while the remaining 93% (47,894) were required to self-isolate on a precautionary basis. 

Since the beginning of June, 600 workers have been eligible for the Enhanced Illness Benefit, but of those, only 67 were actually diagnosed with coronavirus. 

The highest proportion of employees qualifying for the Enhanced Illness Benefit were working in the human health and social work sector (11,900) followed by the wholesale and retail trade (10,900) and manufacturing (6,800) sectors. 

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