Slight drop in agri-sector workers claiming €350/week

There has been a very slight decrease in the number of workers in the agriculture; forestry and fishing; and mining and quarrying sectors claiming the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

According to the latest figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, 8,500 people in that group of sectors will receive the €350/week payment into their bank accounts, or at their local post office, tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26, after the department officially issued the payments today.

This is a reduction of 100 people on the 8,600 who received the payment in these sectors every seven days for the past number of weeks. Also, 900 people among these sectors have closed their PUP claim since Saturday, May 16.

Since the PUP was first rolled out, this group of sectors has regularly seen the third-lowest number of people from all sectors receive the payment. This remains the case this week, with only the real estate sector (8,000 payments issued) and the electricity; gas supply; water supply; and sewerage and waste management sectors (2,000 payments issued) seeing lower numbers of individual payments.

Similarly, the three sectors seeing the most payments also remains unchanged: The accommodation and food services sector has seen the most payments issued this week (123,700); followed by the wholesale trade; retail trade; and motor vehicle repair sectors (86,200); and the construction sector (74,900).

While the former two figures are a reduction from last week’s figures, the number for the construction sector, notably, has increased by 300.

All-in-all, the department has issued payments valued at €202.8 million this week to 579,400 people. This is a reduction of 5,200 on the number of people paid last week.

Included in today’s recipients are 33,400 people who will be receiving their final payments as they are returning to work.

Regina Doherty, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, said today: “After a few weeks of plateauing, the indications are that the numbers receiving the payments will now fall as the country gradually reopens.

“While we did not have the luxury of time to design in detail the income supports we could provide to people as health restrictions were introduced, we now do have the space to plan out and tailor our ongoing response to the pandemic,” the minister concluded.

Last week, a total of 44,000 people closed their claim for the PUP, of which 35,600 reported that they are returning to work.