| 11.6°C Belfast

Numbers on Pandemic Unemployment Payment falls by 27,400 as lockdown eases

The number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has fallen to 515,700 – a reduction of 27,400

Close

People queueing outside Dunnes stores in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

People queueing outside Dunnes stores in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

People queueing outside Dunnes stores in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

The number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen to 515,700 as more people return to work – a fall of 27,000 compared to last week.

At the height of the unemployment surge, some 598,000 people were claiming the PUP in May.

Amongst the recipients are 22,200 who have now informed the Department that they are returning to work and 16,200 of these will be receiving their last payment this week.

The main sectors in which people are returning to work this week continue to be construction, with 6,500 workers back in work; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, with 3,700 having returned to work; while 1,900 have returned to their jobs in the manufacturing sector.

A further 2,000 employees are returning to accommodation and food service activities.

Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, said Monday’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment numbers reflect a drop of almost 90,000 people receiving support – or 15% – since the peak in recipients in May.

She said: “As we enter a new phase of our reopening of Irish society today, we can expect the numbers returning to work to continue to climb.

“As the country marks a further step backs towards normality, or at least towards a ‘new normal’, I would stress the vital role Pandemic Unemployment Payment has played in contributing to assisting the strong public support for necessary public health measures which has allowed us to move to phase two.

“Not everybody will return to work today or tomorrow, and my department will continue to assist those who need income replacement supports.”

Ms Doherty said the PUP will continue until August and department officials are working on options for the scheme’s future beyond that – taking into account progress in the re-opening of society and the developing health situation.

PA