Almost 24,000 close Pandemic Unemployment Payment claims to return to work

Minister says 214,000 fewer people making claims on scheme than in February

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the fall in the number of people  claiming the payment was a sign of ‘progress in reopening our economy and suppressing the virus’. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the fall in the number of people claiming the payment was a sign of ‘progress in reopening our economy and suppressing the virus’. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

 

Industry Correspondent

Almost 24,000 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the last week to return to work, the latest figures show.

The Department of Social Protection said on Tuesday that more than 267,000 people received the pandemic unemployment payment this week, a decrease of almost 18,000 on last week.

The numbers receiving the pandemic unemployment payment are in addition to the 171,699 people who were on the Live Register at the end of May.

The department said the PUP scheme would remain open to new entrants up to June 30th. It said individuals who lost their employment from July 1st should apply for a jobseeker’s or alternative welfare payment.

Sign of progress

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the fall in the number of people claiming the payment was a sign of “progress in reopening our economy and suppressing the virus”.

“In fact, there are now over 214,000 fewer people being supported by the Pandemic Unemployment Payment compared to the second week of February,” she said.

“Over the past seven days alone, almost 24,000 people closed their Pandemic Unemployment Payment claims in order to return to work.”

Ms Humphreys said she expected “further falls” in the number of claimants in the weeks ahead.

The department said the sectors with the largest number of people closing their PUP claims worked in accommodation and food service activities sector (11,919), the wholesale and retail trade (2,255) and construction (1,943).

The department said that since the scheme was established inMarch of last year more than €8 billion has been paid out to claimants.