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File photo Sasko Lazarov

Number of people receiving PUP dips below 300,000 for the first time this year

This is the lowest number of people in receipt of the PUP since December.

THE NUMBER OF people on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen below 300,000 for the first time this year, the lowest it’s been since December.

Recent figures from the Department of Social Protection show that just over 285,000 people are in receipt of the PUP, a decrease of nearly 45% since December, according to the CSO.

This week, €84 million will be paid in PUP to 285,265 people, down 24,000 (8%) since last week.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said today in a press statement: “Today’s figures are very encouraging. They show another sizeable weekly fall in the number of people receiving the PUP as our economy continues to recover and businesses re-open their doors.”

Humphreys said that the figures show sectors are reopening and people are returning to work, as almost 200,00 people have closed their PUP claims since February.

Accommodation and food service was the sector that saw the largest number of employees close their PUP this week, with 5,339 fewer people receiving their payment compared to last week.

As the PUP is paid in arears, there are 11,000 people who are counted in this weeks figures but will be receiving their final payment this week.

The industries with the largest number of employees closing their PUP are accommodation and food service (5,016), construction (2,416) and wholesale and retail trade (2,284).

Accommodation and food service, however, is still the sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the payment at 84,787. This is followed by wholesale and retail trade (41,695) and administrative and support service activities (27,245).

Wholesale and retail also saw a decrease of 4,739 people receiving the payment when compared to last week.

“The re-opening of our society and economy is going well,” the Minister said. “As long as we continue to adhere to public health advice, I am confident we will continue to build on this strong progress over the summer months as more and more people return to work.”

The Department of Social Protection also warned members of the public against scam calls and text messages which may appear as though they are from the department.

It said: “The Department would like to remind all its customers that it will never seek personal information from customers via text message and will never ask a customer for their bank details over the phone.”

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