Pandemic unemployment numbers continue slow decline

Galway Daily news Fewer than 4,000 remain on pandemic unemployment in Galway

The number of people on the pandemic unemployment payment in Galway has continued its slow but steady decline, with just under three hundred fewer people here in receipt of PUP this week.

There are 23,589 people in Galway receiving PUP this week, down from 23,862 the week before Easter.

The Department of Social Protection’s latest figures show that in the week leading up to April 6, there were 290 people in Galway who closed their existing PUP account with the department as they were returning to work.

Nationally, the government is making €130.31 million worth of pandemic unemployment payments to 437,149 people this week, representing a drop of 6,098 people compared to last week.

These figures are in addition to the 183,096 people who were on the Live Register at the end of March.

Speaking on the latest figures, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said they highlight the importance of pandemic unemployment in supporting people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

More than 850,00 people have availed of the pandemic unemployment scheme since it was first introduced last March.

Minister Humphreys added that that she knows people are “weary and fatigued”, but that keeping up these efforts are crucial to also keeping the virus supressed while the vaccine is rolled out.

Galway remains the county with the third highest number of people on pandemic unemployment, behind Dublin (140,123) and Cork (43,871).

The sector with the highest number of people receiving PUP this week is Accommodation and Food Service activities (106,158), followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (70,083) and Construction (52,723).

Construction also continues to be the sector that shows the largest number of people coming off PUP, with 1,591 fewer people receiving the payment compared to last week. But whether this is a result of people returning to work in the sector or seeking jobs elsewhere is not clear.

While only construction projects deemed essential may take place now, such as education facilities, social housing, or healthcare projects, from April 12 all residential construction will be allowed to restart.