PUP claims among agriculture and related sectors continue to drop

The number of people in the agriculture; forestry and fishing; and the mining and quarrying sectors claiming the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) continues to drop, as more people go back to work.

Today, Monday, June 8, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection published the figures for claimants for the payment this week.

The figures show that 7,100 claims in these sectors will receive payments under the PUP tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9. This is a decrease on the 7,600 figure for last week.

Having been, over the course of several weeks since the payment was introduced, the group of sectors with the third lowest level of claims, the agriculture; forestry and fishing; and mining and quarrying sectors now collectively represent the second lowest level of claims.

Only the electricity; gas supply; water supply; and sewerage and waste management sectors account for less claims this week, at just 1,700.

The sectors (or group of sectors) with the highest level of claims are: accommodation and food services, with 119,800 (down from 122,200 last week); wholesale, retail and motor vehicle repair, with 76,600 (down from 80,900 last week); and construction, with 51,400 (down from 60,800 last week).

The construction sector has seen substantial drops in recent weeks as building and construction sites get back to work.

Altogether, some €180.5 million worth of payments will be paid out to 515,700 people this week. These individuals will have the payment made to their bank accounts tomorrow, or can collect the payment at their local post office.

This represents a decrease of 27,400 on the number of people who received the payment last week. Among this week’s recipients are 22,200 people who have informed the department that they are returning to work. Among these, 16,200 will therefore be receiving their final payment this week.

“Today’s PUP numbers reflect a drop of almost 90,000 people receiving support – or 15% – since the peak in recipients in May. As we enter a new phase of our reopening of Irish society today, we can expect the numbers returning to work to continue to climb,” said Regina Doherty, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

“As the country marks a further step back towards normality, or at least a new normal, I would stress the vital role the PUP has played in contributing to assisting the strong public support for necessary public health measures which has allowed us to move to phase two,” the minister added.

Minister Doherty also announced last week that the PUP payment will continue until at least August, with the scheme’s future beyond that depending on the progress on reopening society.