There were 652 people receiving pandemic unemployment payments in Galway this week compared with the week before, as more people return to work.
Pandemic Unemployment payments were made to 10,793 people in Galway today according to the latest figures, down from 11,450 last Tuesday.
Nationwide, there has been a drop in the number of people claiming the COVID-19 benefits of just under 10,000 in the past week.
Payments of €65.5 million were made to 209,941 people this week according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
“While this week’s decrease is encouraging, it is evident to all of us that Covid-19 continues to be active and can re-surface in our communities without warning,” Minister Heather Humpreys said.
“As more businesses prepare to re-open and schools and colleges return, it is now vital more than ever that we take every possible precaution to protect ourselves, our families and our work colleagues.”
This week the sector with the most people returning to work was Accommodation and Food Service Activities, with 1,304 resuming employment, followed by Education with 1,091 people returning to work.
At a Cabinet meeting today, it was decided to keep the Pandemic Unemployment Scheme open to new entrants until the end of 2020.
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, which is means tested, has been extended to include those on PUP, and families are being urged to remember to make use of it.
The Department said that the number of people receiving PUP benefits have fallen by almost 64% from peak levels of 598,000 on May 5.
From next week, payment rates under the scheme are set to change, with three bands of payment instead, based on the person’s former income.
From September 17 onwards, those earning over €300 a week before the pandemic will receive €300 per week, if they earned between €200 – €300 they will get €250 per week.
And those earning less than €200 a week will receive €203 per week under the scheme, which is the same as the current rate.