There has been a drop in the number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in Cork.
Figures published by the Department of Social Protection show the weekly payment was issued to 17,053 people in Cork this week, down from 17,970 last week and a peak of 62,460 in May 2020.
Nationally, the Department of Social Protection issued weekly payments valued at €56.92 million to 192,296 people in receipt of the PUP this week, down more than 9,800 on last week.
The number of PUP recipients has now fallen to below 200,000 for the first time.
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.
Commenting on this week’s 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.”