Drop in number receiving pandemic unemployment payment

Sixty two per cent drop in recipients since peak in May

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys thanked employers and workers in every sector for their solidarity and efforts to suppress the virus.

The number of people receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) fell by 5,400 last week.

Some 225,000 people who have lost their jobs or income because of the Covid-19 pandemic are currently receiving the payment, which ranges between €203 and €350.

On Monday, the Department of Social Protection paid out € 70.2 million. The number receiving the PUP has dropped by 62 per cent from its peak on May 5th when there were 598,000 recipients.

So far € 3.3 billion has been issued to people under the scheme. This is almost double the amount paid out in jobseekers’ allowance in the whole of 2019, the department said in a statement.


Accommodation and food services, the education sector and the wholesale and retail trade saw the most employees returning to work last week.

“The two largest cohorts returning to work are in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups with 1,400 returning in each,” the department said.

"I want to thank employers and workers in every sector for their solidarity and the efforts they continue to make to suppress the virus and help rebuild our economy," Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said.

“It continues to be an extremely difficult and challenging time for everyone. We can see from this week’s figures that more people are signalling that they are returning to work. I want to see this trend continue in the coming months.

“People can play their part by continuing to adhere to public health guidelines including observing the need to social distance, so that we can move forward on the road to recovery.”

In addition to the PUP, 69,500 employers are availing of the Revenue Commissioners’ temporary Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme (TWSS) which is currently supporting about 365,000 workers.

Another 244,600 people are receiving the standard jobseekers’ allowance

It was previously announced the PUP is to be reduced this month. From September 17th, the maximum payment will drop from €350 to €300.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times