The number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) fell by 12,100 over the past week to 262,500, according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  

This is similar to the fall of 12,300 recorded on August 4th and represents a 56% reduction since its peak of 598,000 on May 5th. 

262,500 people are currently receiving the payment, down 12,100 on the 274,600 people paid last week.

At the peak, on 5 May, 598,000 people were receiving the payment.

In the past seven days, 11,100 people have closed their claim for the payment, while a further 5,000 will be receiving their final payment tomorrow.

In a statement this afternoon, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, urged workers who may be impacted by business closures in Kildare, Laois and Offaly to apply for the PUP. 

The Minister also urged all those in receipt of the PUP who have not yet confirmed their continuing eligibility for the payment to do so before midday this Friday, August 14th. If this is not done, payment will be suspended. 

According to the Department, it issued further notifications over the weekend to 29,000 people who have failed so far to confirm their continued eligibility.

Back to work

The Department outlined the top three sectors in which employees are returning to work this week -  accommodation and food services; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; and construction.

The largest cohort returning to work is in the 25-34 age group.

Minister Humphreys welcomed the continuing reduction in numbers claiming the PUP.

"Over the past number of weeks, thanks to the efforts of everybody in our community, we have succeeded in reopening significant parts of our society. This is reflected in the continued reduction in the number of people claiming the PUP.  However, we cannot take this progress for granted and we have to safeguard the progress made by continuing to follow the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team," she said.

As well as those availing of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there are now over 69,500 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

An estimated 370,000 employees are currently being supported by the scheme having received a subsidy in their most recent pay period.

These payments are in addition to the 244,600 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of July. 

Additional reporting by Gill Stedman