The number of people on the Covid PUP payment in Donegal has dropped again.
Nationally the number of people on the payment has dropped to less than 200,000 for the first time since the scheme began in March f last year.
In Donegal, there are now 5,983 people receiving the payment, down from 6,450 from last week (July 20th.)
At its peak in March of last year there was 22,594 people claiming the payment in Donegal.
This week, the Department of Social Protection issued weekly payments valued at €56.92 million to 192,296 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). This represents a decrease of over 9,800 on last week.
The largest reduction, of almost 3,000 was in the Accommodation and Food Services Sector, followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade and Construction with a reduction of over 1,400 and 900 respectively compared to last week.
The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 175,281 people who were on the Live Register at the end of June. All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments have been paid into recipients’ bank accounts or at their Post Office on Tuesday, 27th July.
Commenting on this week’s specific PUP figures, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “For the first time since its introduction, the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has fallen below the 200,000 mark.
“It also means that the number of PUP recipients is now at its lowest level since the payment was introduced as an emergency measure in March 2020.
“To put this into context, there were over 481,000 people relying on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in early February of this year – the last time the virus reached a peak.
“That number has now fallen by around 60% – clearly demonstrating the progress we are making in re-opening our economy and getting our citizens back to work.”
Minister Humphreys added: “As indoor hospitality re-opens safely, I expect the number of people receiving PUP to fall further in the coming weeks as they return to the workplace.
“I want to take this opportunity to pay particular tribute to businesses in the hospitality sector, who are re-opening their doors for indoor dining.
“This has been an extremely difficult few months for this sector. That’s why Government has maintained the range of supports in place for businesses and their employees.”
Minister Humphreys concluded: “Our Pathways to Work Strategy is now being rolled out at pace – providing supports to enable people to get back working again.
“As new jobs are created, we want to ensure that people who are currently unemployed have the training, skills and most importantly the confidence to take on these new roles.
“My Department’s Intreo Centres will play a crucial role in ensuring the rollout of this service.”
Further details on the trends are set out in the Appendices.
Looking at the age cohort as set out in Appendix 3, the greatest decrease continues to be in the under 25 age group with 39,144 receiving PUP compared with 42,308 last week.
Dublin continues to be the county with the highest number of people who are receiving PUP this week at 71,981. It is followed by Cork (17,053) and Galway (10,159).
The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is Accommodation and Food Service Activities (44,678) followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (29,440) and Administrative and support service activities (21,457).
The payment week for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment runs from Friday to Thursday and payments are paid on the following Tuesday. Individuals who have closed their PUP by Monday 26th July, as they have returned to work, will receive their final PUP payment on Tuesday 3rd August.