There has been a drop in the number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
This week, the Department of Social Protection has issued weekly payments valued at €143.34 million to 477,665 people in receipt of the PUP, a decrease of 3,666 compared to last week.
In Cork, 48,658 people received the payment today down from 49,195 last week.
Cork has the second-highest number of people who are receiving PUP this week, while the figure is highest in Dublin at 148,879.
According to the Department, nationally, almost all sectors have fewer people receiving PUP this week than last week, reflecting the number of people who have closed their claims in recent weeks to return to work. The only exception the Electrical/Gas/Water supply sector.
The sector with the highest number of people receiving PUP this week is Accommodation and Food Service activities (111,280), followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (75,927) and Construction (62,197).
Construction is the sector that has seen the largest decrease in the number of people receiving PUP this week, with 705 less people receiving the payment compared to last week.
The past seven days saw people from every county close their PUP claims as they were returning to work.
Overall, some 12,880 people closed their PUP claims, with 10,201 of these stating that they were doing so because they are returning to work.
The top three sectors with the largest number of employees closing their Pandemic Unemployment Payment to return to work are Construction (2,167), Wholesale and Retail Trade (1,785), and Manufacturing (1,308).
In Cork, 1,047 people closed their claim.
Commenting on the latest PUP figures, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said:“This week’s figures reflect the first reduction in the number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment since the Level 5 restrictions were introduced in late December.
“This is a positive development and shows that the rate of applications for the PUP has levelled off.
“Almost 13,000 people closed their PUP claims in the past seven days with some 10,000 of these stating that they were doing so because they were returning to work.
“This is to be welcomed and it is encouraging for businesses and our economy. The construction sector saw over 2,000 employees close their PUP claims in the past seven days. Furthermore, some 1,700 people in Wholesale and Retail Trade and some 1,300 in Manufacturing closed their claims in order to return to work.”
Minister Humphreys continued:“I cannot stress strongly enough that people should only be returning to work outside of their own home where it is absolutely essential.
“We cannot become complacent; we must not let our guard down now. We are making these sacrifices for ourselves, our families, our colleagues and our frontline workers.”