Recent figures from the Department of Social Protection reveal that the number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has dipped below 300,000 for the first time this year.
The Central Statistics Office reported that the number of people receiving the payment has reduced by 45% since December as just over 285,000 people are now in receipt of the PUP. Since last week, there has been a decrease of 8% (€24,000) in the amount of PUP money being paid out with €84 million being paid this week.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys described the figures as encouraging as they reveal a weekly fall in the number of people receiving the payment as the economy continues to recover. Humphreys stated that nearly 200,000 people have closed their PUP claims since February which shows that sectors are reopening and that people are returning to work.
The sectors that saw the largest number of people returning to work were accommodation and food service with 5,339 fewer people receiving the PUP compared to last week. The figures also show that up to 11,000 people will be receiving their last payment this week as it’s paid in arrears.
The sectors with the largest amount of employees closing their PUP claims are construction, food service, retail and wholesale trade.
Describing the re-opening of the economy as going well, Humphreys stated, “As long as we continue to adhere to public health advice, I am confident that we will continue to build on this strong progress over the summer months as more people return to work.”
The Department of Social protection has also warned against scam calls and text messages claiming to be from the department itself but reminded their customers that they will never seek personal information through text message or over the phone.