PUP claims fall below 300,000 for first time this year

Claimant numbers down 24,000 over the past week

A total of 	€84.3m will be paid to PUP recipients this week. Photograph: iStock

A total of €84.3m will be paid to PUP recipients this week. Photograph: iStock

 

The number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has dipped below 300,000 for the first time this year, new data showed.

Just more than 285,000 people are now receiving the payment, down 24,000 on last week, as restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 were further loosened.

This is the lowest claimant level recorded since December 2020, before the Government brought in tougher restrictions to deal with a surge in Covid cases and hospitalisations.

A further 171,699 people signed on to the Live Register at the end of May.

A total of €84.3 million will be paid to PUP recipients this week. Dublin has the highest number of recipients, at 97,189, followed by Cork and Galway.

The accommodation and food service sector accounts for the majority of PUP claims, but more than 5,000 people closed their claims as the sector prepared to reopen.

More than 4,700 fewer claims were paid this week in the wholesale and retail sector.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the figures were very encouraging.

“They show another sizeable weekly fall in the number of people receiving the PUP as our economy continues to recover and businesses reopen their doors. Almost 200,000 people have now closed their PUP claims since February, which clearly shows that as sectors reopen, people are returning to work.”

PUP claims are paid a week in arrears, so people who are returning to work this week will be reflected in next week’s figures. More than 11,000 people are receiving a final payment this week.