Number claiming unemployment payments fell 7pc last month as PUP down by 20,000

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Anne-Marie Walsh

THE number of people on unemployment benefits fell almost 7pc last month as government restrictions were lifted.

There were 323,010 people on the Live Register or pandemic unemployment payment following a 6.9pc fall in claimants.

The seasonally adjusted Live Register was 168,400, down 1,600 from July.

There were also 143,606 people on the pandemic unemployment payment in the last week of the month.

This was a 19,721 drop on the previous month, and a decrease of 83,353 in the year.

Of those on the PUP, almost 54pc were men and 69pc were Irish.

Almost a quarter were between 25 and 34, and another quarter between 35 and 44.

An additional 363,198 people were estimated to be supported by the government’s employment wage subsidy scheme in July.

In July, 689,993 persons were on the Live Register, PUP or the employment wage subsidy scheme, down from 951,605 a year earlier.

“There are currently 83,353 fewer persons in receipt of the PUP than at the end of August 2020,” said CSO senior statistician Edel Flannery.

“Users should consider the impact of government restrictions when comparing the numbers of people in receipt of the PUP at different points in time.”

“The current low point (for all schemes) was March 2020 (688,178), however, this was the first month the Covid-19 income support schemes were introduced and the total for July 2021 is the next lowest point of the series since March 2020.”

The high point was reached in April last year when 1.1m people were being supported by the schemes.

A total of 1.3 million people have received at least one payment since the Covid-19 income support schemes were established in March last year.

Just under 57pc were men and 47pc were between 25 and 44.