There’s been a decrease in the number of people in Cork receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP).
Latest figures from the Department of Social Protection show the payment has been issued to 25,523 in Cork this week, down from 29,079 last week.
Nationally, payments have been issued to 277,671 people in receipt of PUP this week, a decrease of 28,549 on the 306,220 people paid last week.
The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is Accommodation and Food Service Activities (74,101) followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (40,406) and Administrative and Support Service Activities (28,099).
These figures are in addition to the 194,058 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of November.
In the past seven days, some 21,295 people closed their PUP claim, with 16,593 of these people stating that they were doing so because they are returning to work.
The Department said these people will also receive their final payment tomorrow in addition to this week’s payment and are included in the 277,700 recipients reported today.
The top sectors from which employees closed their Pandemic Unemployment Payment to return to work are Accommodation and Food Service Activities (7,760), Wholesale and Retail Trade (2,503) and Hairdressers and Beauty Salons (2,125).
Similar to last week, Dublin had the greatest number of people closing their claims (4,608), followed by Cork (1,796), Galway (980), Kildare (760) and Limerick (692).
Speaking today, Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said:“More people have returned to work this week and the total number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has now fallen by 75,000 in the last month.
“Unfortunately the increased number of cases we are seeing means we must all re-double our efforts to contain the virus.
“I know this is a worrying time particularly for workers in the hospitality sector and Cabinet will meet tomorrow to decide on the next steps following the latest public health advice.
“In the meantime, I want to assure all workers that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment remains open for applications and will be available to assist anybody whose job is impacted by further restrictions.” The Minister added: “This will be a Christmas week like no other and we all need to take personal responsibility for our behaviour. Make no mistake - your actions over the next few days will make a difference. We cannot sacrifice all the hard work of the last nine months or put the lives of our loved ones at risk just as vaccines are about to arrive.
“The best Christmas gift that we can give to our family, friends and especially our frontline workers this year is a safe Christmas."