Four in five workers in receipt of Government pandemic support still employed

The figures were published by the Central Statistics Office in its Labour Market analysis.
Four in five workers in receipt of Government pandemic support still employed

By Cate McCurry, PA

More than four in every five people who were in employment at the beginning of Covid-19, and in receipt of a Government pandemic income support, were still in payroll employment in recent months, new figures show.

Almost 70 per cent of people had the same primary employment in the second quarter of this year as they had in first quarter of 2020, if they had never been in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS).

This compares with just over 60 per cent for those who received WSS and just under 40 per cent for those on PUP.

The figures were published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in its Labour Market analysis.

More than 80 per cent of recipients of a Government pandemic income support scheme were still in employment in the second quarter of this year.

Of those who were in payroll employment in the first quarter of 2020, and in receipt of PUP at any time, 4.6 per cent were on the Live Register and not receiving pay from an employer over the summer months.

In the business economy, four in 10 (39.2 per cent) enterprises that availed of a Government pandemic income support scheme had more payroll employees in the second quarter of this year than pre-Covid levels at the beginning of 2020.

A quarter (26.9 per cent) of enterprises that did not avail of a Government pandemic income support scheme had more payroll employment in the second quarter of this year.

Of the enterprises that had all staff in receipt of a PUP during the first lockdown, 39.9 per cent had more payroll employees while 21.9 per cent had similar levels of staff in the second quarter of 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels.

 

More than one in five enterprises in accommodation and food that availed of a Government pandemic income support scheme had no paid employees in the second quarter.

John Mullane, statistician in the labour market and earnings division, said: “Today’s publication highlights the different employment outcomes for persons over the course of the pandemic based on whether they received one of the Government’s income supports such as the PUP or the WSS or neither of these.

“The type of Government income support scheme a person received had a strong bearing on whether an individual was in the same job in the second quarter as they were at the start of the pandemic.

“For those in the transport economic sector in receipt of WSS, 72.3 per cent held the same job from first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2022 – compared with 44 per cent for transport workers in receipt of PUP and 69.9 per cent for those on neither support.

“The NACE economic sector of a person’s primary employment in first quarter of 2020 and their age group also had a significant impact on whether individuals remained in the same employment later in the pandemic.”

Colin Hanley, statistician in the CSO Business Statistics Division, said the results show the impact of Covid-19 related income supports on the payroll employment of enterprises in the Irish business economy.

“It takes payroll employment in the first quarter of 2020 as a baseline and looks to see if employment has increased, decreased, or stayed the same,” he added.

“Of the enterprises that had all their staff in receipt of PUP during the initial restrictions in the second quarter of 2020, more than six in 10 had either returned to similar levels of employment (21.9 per cent) or increased payroll employment (39.9 per cent) by recent months.”

Almost 40 per cent of enterprises that availed of either PUP or WSS had more payroll employees in Q2 2022 compared with 26.9 per cent of enterprises that did not avail of income support.

Among the sectors with the highest proportion of enterprises with more payroll employees in the second quarter of 2022 compared with the first quarter of 2020 were industry and information and communication.

While the sectors with the highest proportion of enterprises without paid employees in the second quarter of this year were in accommodation and food and other services, which includes activities such as repairs, hairdressing, and wellbeing.

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