Almost 50,000 people came off the Live Register or stopped receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in September as conditions in the labour market and wider economy improved.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show the number of Live Register and PUP recipients fell by 18 per cent to 264,086 last month.
The figures come as the Central Bank signalled this week that a sharp rebound in the economy led by consumer spending could create up to 160,000 new jobs over the next two years.
When the Government’s other pandemic wage support scheme – the employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS) – is included, a total of 636,425 people were in reeceipt of some form of income support in September.
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The figures show there were 101,470 people receiving support through the Government’s PUP programme.
This was 115,792 less than at the end of September last year.
The accommodation and food services sector saw the greatest reduction in the number receiving the payment last month.
The PUP was paid at a weekly rate of €350 initially but was reduced last month and will be tapered to align it with the standard jobseekers’ payments by February.
The PUP recipients consisted of 55,646 males (54.8 per cent ) and 45,824 females (45.2 per cent). Broken down by age, 10,242 or 10.1 per cent were under 25 years of age, while 91,228 or 89.9 per cent were 25 years of age and over.
While the PUP and the live register are weekly schemes, the availability of the EWSS data depends on an employee’s pay frequency which could be weekly, fortnightly, every four weeks or monthly.
“Because of these differing pay frequencies, and the time it takes for employers to lodge payslip data with the Revenue Commissioners before it is made available to the CSO for dissemination purposes, there is a lag on the availability of the EWSS estimates,” the CSO said.