Around 410,000 people are currently having their incomes supported under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, which has now cost the exchequer almost €1.9 billion, according to the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners. 

Since the TWSS was launched on 26 March to avert a wave of threatened redundancies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, over 64,800 employers have registered for the scheme, and over 58,600 have already received subsidy payments. 

Meanwhile, an estimated 8,600 employers - employing around 55,400 people - have left the TWSS since its inception.

Over 567,600 workers have received at least one subsidy payment during the lifetime of the scheme, with 
287,500 received a TWSS payment in the last week alone.

However, that figure fluctuates from week-to-week depending on whether workers are paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly. 

The total value of wage subsidies paid out under the TWSS has now reached €1.878 billion, including €149m in income tax refunds. 

The TWSS was established to encourage employers to retain an employment link with workers, rather than laying them off, so that it would be easier to resume business activity when the economy recovers.

Earlier figures from the Central Statistics Office revealed that over one million people continued to depend on the State for income support in June.

The CSO said that the seasonally adjusted Live Register figure in June was 213,700, down 14,200 from May. 

The CSO stressed that the Live Register figures do not capture emergency income support schemes including the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) introduced earlier this year to address the Covid-19 emergency. 

In the last week of June, according to the CSO, a total of 438,933 people were receiving the PUP, while a further 382,018 people were being supported under the TWSS. 

When the Live Register, the TWSS and the PUP are factored in, a total of 1,002,470 people were fully or partially dependent on the state for income support. 

The CSO cautioned that this number is not the total of the three schemes, as there is some overlap between them due to the different frequency of the payments; as well as the fact that some people who are included on the Live Register but not receiving a payment, might be in receipt of either the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The CSO has continued to calculate the Live Register on the traditional basis to ensure continuity of statistical methodology.

It noted that Covid-19 payments are currently viewed as short-term in nature, with an expectation that those in receipt of such payments may return to work or may subsequently be considered for jobseekers' benefit or jobseekers' allowance.


The CSO said that the seasonally adjusted Live Register figure in June was 213,700, down 14,200 from May. 

The CSO stressed that the Live Register figures do not capture emergency income support schemes including the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) introduced earlier this year to address the Covid-19 emergency. 

In the last week of June, according to the CSO, a total of 438,933 people were receiving the PUP, while a further 382,018 people were being supported under the TWSS. 

When the Live Register, the TWSS and the PUP are factored in, a total of 1,002,470 people were fully or partially dependent on the state for income support. 

The CSO cautioned that this number is not the total of the three schemes, as there is some overlap between them due to the different frequency of the payments; as well as the fact that some people who are included on the Live Register but not receiving a payment, might be in receipt of either the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The CSO has continued to calculate the Live Register on the traditional basis to ensure continuity of statistical methodology.

It noted that Covid-19 payments are currently viewed as short-term in nature, with an expectation that those in receipt of such payments may return to work or may subsequently be considered for jobseekers' benefit or jobseekers' allowance.


Of those receiving the PUP at the end of June, 51.3% were male and 71.1% were Irish. 

Almost a quarter were aged 25-34 (23.2%) while a further 22.9% were aged 35-44.

The CSO said that 695,867 people have received at least one PUP payment since the scheme was launched in March - 56.5% of whom are male, with almost half (47.9%) aged between 25 and 44. 

Of the 257,936 recorded as receiving a TWSS payment in the week ending 21st June, just over 60% were male, 77.6% were Irish nationals, and just under half (49.4%) are aged 25-44. 

CSO figures earlier this week showed that the country's unemployment rate, including those receiving temporary Covid-19 jobless benefit, fell to 22.5% at the end of June from 26.1% a month earlier.

The June unemployment figures reflect the first two stages of the economy's gradual re-opening. 

Call for urgent action on youth unemployment

The National Youth Council of Ireland has called on the Government to take urgent action within the next month to address youth unemployment, which has now hit over 45% among people aged under 25. 

NYCI deputy director James Doorley noted that over 146,000 under-25s are unemployed - with just under 30,000 on the Live Register and 20,413 on Disability Allowance. 

A further 96,000 are receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) - accounting for around a fifth of recipients.  

However, the NYCI  criticised the "lack of urgency on youth unemployment" in the Programme for Government, noting that the 125 page manifesto contains no reference to youth employment or youth unemployment. 

"At a time when we have 45.4% youth unemployment and over 146,000 young people out of work this omission is hard to understand or justify," Mr Doorley said. 

He noted that the NYCI submission for the Programme for Government had called on the incoming administration to undertake a rapid review of youth employment policy and measures, and to develop a "credible and costed stimulus package to support young jobseekers into education, training, apprenticeships and employment."

He cited proposals in the Programme for Government to develop a National Economic Plan, "and some vague references to supporting upskilling and reskilling, labour market activation and enhancing apprenticeships - but no concrete actions and measures." 

However, he also noted that the National Economic Plan is not due for another four months - describing that response to youth unemployment as "far too leisurely". 

He also highlighted that even last December before the pandemic, when the economy was still in recovery, youth employment was running at 12.6% - almost three times the overall unemployment rate.  

"As a society and an economy, we cannot afford to make the mistakes of the past, where young people were left to linger on the dole queues for years on end and the Governmental response was slow and inadequate," Mr Doorley said. 

He acknowledged that the new Government would have to borrow to fund a stimulus package, and that those funds would have to be paid back over time - but noted that the greatest burden of repaying those borrowings would fall on younger people. 

"Young people as taxpayers will end up paying back the highest proportion of this investment, so it is only fair and in the interests of intergenerational solidarity, that they should also benefit proportionately from these funds to restart the economy," he said. 

"It also makes social and economic sense to invest in measures to support young people back into work, because their participation and contribution in the labour market will further drive the recovery," he added.

The National Youth Council of Ireland represents voluntary youth organisations.