1,500 drop in claims for PUP in agriculture and related sectors in June

Just over 6,000 people from among the agriculture; forestry and fishing; and mining and quarrying sectors were paid this week under the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

According to the latest figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, 6,100 people in these sectors were paid under the PUP this week. This is a decrease of 1,500 compared to the number who were paid at the start of this month (June).

The figure also represents a decrease of 600 on the figure for last week, which was 6,700.

As it stands, this group of sectors is in receipt of the second-lowest number of individual payments compared to other sectors of the economy (or group of sectors, as defined by the department).

The only sectoral grouping to have a lower number of workers (or former workers) making claims are the electricity; gas supply; water supply; and sewerage and waste management sectors, with 1,500 claims this week.

The three sectoral groups with the most claims have remained fairly consistent throughout the time the payment has existed – though the figures on these sectors (as with all sectors) is continuing to decrease as the country opens up.

The accommodation and food services sector still has the highest number of claims, at 114,600; followed by wholesale and retail; and repair of motor vehicles (63,600 claims); and construction (39,700 claims).

Overall, the department issued payments to 465,900 people this week, amounting to a total value of €163.1 million. The payments are confirmed and issued on Monday of each week, and are paid into bank accounts (or collected from post offices) on Tuesday of each week.

The amount of individual payments made fell by 32,800 compared to last week. Since last week, some 30,000 people have now closed their claim, with 23,900 confirming that they have, or shortly will be, returning to work. 17,900 people received their final payment this week.

Commenting on these figures, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, said: “I am very pleased to see the trend in the number of people depending on the PUP continuing to fall, with almost 33,000 fewer due to receive a payment [this week].

“These statistics published today are clear evidence that many businesses are returning slowly but surely, especially in the construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail industries throughout the country,” the minister added.