The number of people due to receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) this week has fallen by less than 4,000 when compared to last week.
149,436 will get the PUP in the coming few days, down from 153,309 last week.
It is the first time that the number of recipients has fallen below the 150,000 mark since the payment was introduced in March of last year at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it is the second week in a row that the number has decreased by around 4,000, signalling an apparent stalling in the rate of reduction.
But the Minister for Social Protection said progress is being made.
“The number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is at its lowest level since the introduction of the support,” Heather Humphreys said.
“We are seeing week-by-week reductions in the number of people receiving the PUP – reflecting the steady progress we are making in rolling out the vaccination programme and the continued re-opening of the economy.”
In total, payments worth €44.2m will be made to the recipients with the largest reduction coming in the accommodation and food service sector.
Along with PUP recipients, a further 184,213 were also on the Live Register at the end of last month.
Dublin remains the county with the largest number of recipients, followed by Cork and Galway.
The latest data comes ahead of the start of the wind down of the payments, following its closure to new entrants in July.
Next month, the top three rates will be reduced by €50, while those on the €203 rate will transition to the standard job seekers terms.
Rates will fall further in November and February of next year.
Students currently receiving the PUP who are going to be returning to full-time education in the next academic year will also lose the payment from 7 September.
Article Source – Number of PUP recipients falls below 150,000 for first time – RTE – Will Goodbody