More than a third of workforce on State support in April

There were just under 850,000 people – more than a third of the Irish workforce – on some form of State income support in April.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show there was a total of 844,237 people on the Live Register or benefitting from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).

However, the total number compared to 907,019 in the month of March, which represents a monthly reduction of more than 50,000 people.

Of the 844,237, some 54.7 per cent were men, while 18.3 per cent were under 25-years-old.

The current low point was March 2020 when the number of people stood at 688,004. However, this was the first month the Covid-19 income support schemes were introduced.

The current high point was reached in April 2020 when it stood at just under 1.2 million people.

The monthly totals have fluctuated according to the changing levels of restrictions in place at various times.

While the PUP and the Live Register are weekly schemes, the availability of EWSS data depends on an employee’s pay frequency which could be weekly, fortnightly, every four weeks or monthly.

As a result, the EWSS estimates are only available up to April.

The CSO figures also show the unadjusted Live Register total for May was 171,699 people. This consisted of 96,448 men (56.2 per cent) and 75,251 women (43.8 per cent).

Of those, 19,041, or 11.1 per cent, were under 25 years of age, while 152,658, or 88.9 per cent, were 25 years of age and over.

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On an adjusted basis, the number of male and female claimants on the Live Register was 95,800 and 78,400 representing 55 per cent and 45 per cent of the seasonally adjusted Live Register total respectively.

At the end of May, 309,515 of those whose income from employment has been affected due to Covid-19 were being facilitated through the PUP. There were 235,155 less people in receipt of the PUP than a year earlier.

The PUP recipients at the end of May consisted of 165,790 men (53.6 per cent) and 143,725 women (46.4 per cent).

Breaking this down by age, 80,241, or 25.9 per cent, were under 25 years of age, while 229,274, or 74.1 per cent, were 25 years of age and over.

A total of 477,915 people were either on the Live Register or were benefitting from the PUP in May. This compared to 556,280 in the month of April.

In April, 311,275 people are currently estimated to have been directly supported by the EWSS.

There were more people aged 25 years and over (267,231) than under 25 years (43,146) supported by the scheme, with those age groups representing 86.1 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

There were 175,548 men (56.6 per cent) and 134,858 women (43.4 per cent) being supported by the scheme.


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